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Unveiling Distribution Patterns of Freshwater Phytoplankton by a Next Generation Sequencing Based Approach
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
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2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 1, e53516- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The recognition and discrimination of phytoplankton species is one of the foundations of freshwater biodiversity research and environmental monitoring. This step is frequently a bottleneck in the analytical chain from sampling to data analysis and subsequent environmental status evaluation. Here we present phytoplankton diversity data from 49 lakes including three seasonal surveys assessed by next generation sequencing (NGS) of 16S ribosomal RNA chloroplast and cyanobacterial gene amplicons and also compare part of these datasets with identification based on morphology. Direct comparison of NGS to microscopic data from three time-series showed that NGS was able to capture the seasonality in phytoplankton succession as observed by microscopy. Still, the PCR-based approach was only semi-quantitative, and detailed NGS and microscopy taxa lists had only low taxonomic correspondence. This is probably due to, both, methodological constraints and current discrepancies in taxonomic frameworks. Discrepancies included Euglenophyta and Heterokonta that were scarce in the NGS but frequently detected by microscopy and Cyanobacteria that were in general more abundant and classified with high resolution by NGS. A deep-branching taxonomically unclassified cluster was frequently detected by NGS but could not be linked to any group identified by microscopy. NGS derived phytoplankton composition differed significantly among lakes with different trophic status, showing that our approach can resolve phytoplankton communities at a level relevant for ecosystem management. The high reproducibility and potential for standardization and parallelization makes our NGS approach an excellent candidate for simultaneous monitoring of prokaryotic and eukaryotic phytoplankton in inland waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 8, no 1, e53516- p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-194906DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053516ISI: 000314019100023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-194906DiVA: diva2:606676
Available from: 2013-02-20 Created: 2013-02-19 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Phytoplankton and Physical Disturbance: Seasonal dynamics in temperate Lake Erken, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phytoplankton and Physical Disturbance: Seasonal dynamics in temperate Lake Erken, Sweden
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Phytoplankton mirrors changes in the environment and plays an important role in biogeochemical processes. Phytoplankton dynamics is the outcome of both autogenic succession and external disturbances. This thesis focused on the seasonal variation of water column stability and its effects on phytoplankton, particularly considering the influence of mixing events on phytoplankton development. Lake Erken is a dimictic lake with weak and often interrupted summer stratification, which represents an intermediate case between a polymictic lake and a lake with strong summer stratification.

There are two diatom phases annually. The spring bloom is caused by pioneer centric diatoms, and the autumn diatom phase is dominated by meroplanktonic diatoms induced by turnover. A summer Cyanobacteria bloom – mainly Gloeotrichia echinulata, depended on the length and stability of stratification.

Winter and spring air temperature is found to play an important role in the annual succession of phytoplankton by initiating changes in ice/snow-cover and lake thermal stability and setting the basic status. Instead of starting from zero, the vernal phytoplankton piles up on the overwintering community, this trans-annual ecological memory influences both the composition and diversity and taxonomic distinctness of spring phytoplankton.

Water column stability during summer in Lake Erken is mainly influenced by wind-induced turbulence and internal seiches. As thermal stratification develops from early until late summer, variations in stability and gradual deepening of the thermocline depth influence phytoplankton dynamics directly by changing its distribution, and also indirectly by altering the nutrient and light availability. A new disturbance index (DI) was defined to quantify environmental stability/disturbance and tested well to indicate phytoplankton equilibrium status in two summer stratification periods. The concept of species and functional groups was generally used in this study. However, a next generation sequencing based approach was also tested and proved to provide an excellent candidate for revealing distribution patterns of phytoplankton in inland waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 43 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1292
Phytoplankton dynamics, high-frequency measurements, thermal stratification, water column stability, equilibrium, disturbance
National Category
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-262461 (URN)978-91-554-9345-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-06, Friessalen, Evolutionary Biology Center, Norbyvägen 14, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-10-09 Created: 2015-09-15 Last updated: 2015-10-29

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