Biogeography of bacterioplankton in the tropical seawaters of Singapore

Authors

  • Stanley C.K. Lau,

    1. Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    Current affiliation:
    1. Division of Life Science, The Hong Kong University and Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, USA
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  • Rui Zhang,

    1. Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    2. State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
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  • Eoin L. Brodie,

    1. Division of Earth Science, Ecology Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley, CA, USA
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  • Yvette M. Piceno,

    1. Division of Earth Science, Ecology Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley, CA, USA
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  • Gary Andersen,

    1. Division of Earth Science, Ecology Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley, CA, USA
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  • Wen-Tso Liu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
    • Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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Correspondence: Wen-Tso Liu, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA. Tel.: +1 217 3338442; fax: +1 217 3339464;e-mail: wtliu@illinois.edu

Abstract

Knowledge about the biogeography of marine bacterioplankton on the global scale in general and in Southeast Asia in particular has been scarce. This study investigated the biogeography of bacterioplankton community in Singapore seawaters. Twelve stations around Singapore island were sampled on different schedules over 1 year. Using PCR-DNA fingerprinting, DNA cloning and sequencing, and microarray hybridization of the 16S rRNA genes, we observed clear spatial variations of bacterioplankton diversity within the small area of the Singapore seas. Water samples collected from the Singapore Strait (south) throughout the year were dominated by DNA sequences affiliated with Cyanobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria that were believed to be associated with the influx of water from the open seas in Southeast Asia. On the contrary, water in the relatively polluted Johor Strait (north) were dominated by Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes and that were presumably associated with river discharge and the relatively eutrophic conditions of the waterway. Bacterioplankton diversity was temporally stable, except for the episodic surge of Pseudoalteromonas, associated with algal blooms. Overall, these results provide valuable insights into the diversity of bacterioplankton communities in Singapore seas and the possible influences of hydrological conditions and anthropogenic activities on the dynamics of the communities.

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