Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Geographic distribution pattern of low and high nucleic acid content bacteria on a river-catchment scale

Jie Liu A B 1 , Dan Ma A 1 , Lili Ma A C , Yuhao Song A , Guanghai Gao A and Yingying Wang A D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria (Ministry of Education), Tianjin Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.

B Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China.

C College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, China.

D Corresponding author. Email: wangyy@nankai.edu.cn

Marine and Freshwater Research 68(9) 1618-1625 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16068
Submitted: 9 March 2016  Accepted: 15 November 2016   Published: 3 February 2017

Abstract

Bacteria with low nucleic acid content (LNA) and high nucleic acid content (HNA) are widely distributed in aquatic environments. Most of the current understanding of these two subgroups is derived from studies in marine environments. In comparison, information on the spatial distribution of these two subgroups in freshwater environments is very limited. The present study analysed the biogeographical pattern of those two groups on a large-river scale (i.e. the Songhua River catchment, >1000 km). The results showed that the concentrations of LNA and HNA bacteria were distributed over a wide range from 5.45 × 104 to 4.43 × 106 cells mL–1, and from 1.35 × 105 to 4.37 × 106 cells mL–1 respectively. The two groups have almost equal proportions in the Songhua River, with the average contribution of LNA bacteria reaching 47.0%. In comparison, the abundance of LNA bacteria in the mainstream was significantly higher than in the tributaries. The cytometric expressions (green fluorescence and side scatter) within LNA and HNA were strongly covaried, which implies that these two subgroups are intrinsically linked. Multivariate redundancy analysis indicated that both the abundance and cytometric characteristics of co-occurring LNA and HNA bacteria were regulated differently in the Songhua River. This suggests that LNA and HNA bacteria play different ecological roles in river ecosystems.

Additional keywords: biogeography, cytometric characteristics, flow cytometry (FCM), multivariate redundancy analysis.


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