Diversity and Distribution of Free-living and Particle-associated Bacterioplankton in Sandusky Bay and Adjacent Waters of Lake Erie Western Basin

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Journal of Great Lakes Research

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Bacterial community composition, Lake Erie, free-living, particle-associated


Biology | Geology


Studies on the bacterial communities in Lake Erie have been largely focused on cyanobacteria. To characterize the community structure of the other bacteria, we examined the 16S rRNA gene content of free-living (FL) and particle-associated (PA) bacterioplankton populations in Sandusky Bay (SD) and adjacent waters in the Western Basin (WB) of Lake Erie. A comprehensive survey of nutrients and other limnological variables was also performed in parallel. A total of 18,569 of 16S rRNA V6 pyrotag sequences were recovered, which were affiliated with 64 unique bacterial orders within 14 phyla. FL bacteria were composed differently from PA ones and contained significantly more Actinomycetales. In addition, FL bacteria were taxonomically more diverse. Despite the distinct environmental conditions, compositional variation was insignificant between bacteria in the SD and WB samples.