High molecular weight (HMW) DNA prepared from a toxic freshwater cyanobacterial bloom sample was used to construct a PCR-generated 75-clone, 16S rRNA gene library and a 2850-clone bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene library demonstrated that members of eight phyla of domain Bacteria, which included Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobium, Bacteriodetes, Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, Candidate Division OP10 and Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, were present in the bloom community. Diversity estimates determined from 16S rRNA gene analysis and direct cell counts and morphological identification of phytoplanktons suggested that the bloom community was dominated by members of the genera Aphanizomenon and Cylindrospermopsis, phylum Cyanobacteria. BAC-end sequencing of 37 randomly selected clones and subsequent sequence analysis provided a snapshot of the total bloom community putative metabolic activities. The sequencing of the entire inserts of seven clones (clones designated 578, 67, 142, 543, 905, 1664 and 2089) selected from BAC-end sequence studies resulted in the generation of a total of 144-kb sequence data and in the identification of 130 genes for putative proteins representing at least four phyla, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Cyanobacteria. This is the first report on a snapshot analysis of a limited metagenome of a toxic cyanobacterial freshwater bloom.