Scientia Marina, Vol 81, No 4 (2017)

Cyanobacterial community diversity in the sediments of the Pearl River Estuary in China

Fu-Lin Sun
State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences - Daya Bay Marine Biology Research Station, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, China

You-Shao Wang
State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences - Daya Bay Marine Biology Research Station, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, China

Mei-Lin Wu
State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, China

Cui-Ci Sun
State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences - Daya Bay Marine Biology Research Station, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, China


Cyanobacterial community diversity in the sediment of the Pearl River Estuary in China was evaluated in this study by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) during the wet and dry seasons. Nucleotide sequences obtained from DGGE bands were classified into five cyanobacterial clusters, including Synechococcus, Cyanobium, Chroococcus, Prochlorales and Tolypothrix. Synechococcus was identified as the dominant cyanobacterial group in the sediment samples; its distribution varied from the inner estuary to the outer estuary, with a wide range of salinity adaptation. Observed patterns of cyanobacterial communities changed markedly between sampling sites and seasons, suggesting that most cyanobacteria were not delivered via fresh water. Canonical correspondence analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between environmental variables and bacterial community structures during the dry season. The results suggested that the cyanobacterial community was significantly influenced by pH, salinity, PO4-P and NO3-N in sediments.


estuary; sediment; cyanobacterial community diversity; DGGE

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