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Weak Coherence in Abundance Patterns Between Bacterial Classes and Their Constituent OTUs Along a Regulated River

AuthorsRuiz-González, Clara ; Salazar, Guillem ; Logares, Ramiro ; Proia, Lorenzo; Gasol, Josep M. ; Sabater, Sergi
KeywordsFreshwater bacterioplankton
Bacterial community composition
High-rank lineages
Ecological coherence
River gradient
454 pyrosequencing
Issue Date26-Nov-2015
PublisherFrontiers Media
CitationFrontiers in Microbiology 6: 1293 (2015)
AbstractDeductions about the ecology of high taxonomic bacterial ranks (i.e., phylum, class, order) are often based on their abundance patterns, yet few studies have quantified how accurately variations in abundance of these bacterial groups represent the dynamics of the taxa within them. Using 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we investigated whether the changes in abundance of six dominant bacterial classes (Actinobacteria, Beta-/Alpha-/Gamma-proteobacteria, Flavobacteria, and Sphingobacteria) along a large dam-regulated river are reflected by those of their constituent Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs; 97% similarity level). The environmental impact generated by the reservoirs promoted clear compositional shifts in all bacterial classes that resulted from changes in the abundance of individual OTUs rather than from the appearance of new taxa along the river. Abundance patterns at the class level represented the dynamics of only a small but variable proportion of their constituting OTUs, which were not necessarily the most abundant ones. Within most classes, we detected sub-groups of OTUs showing contrasting responses to reservoir-induced environmental changes. Overall, we show that the patterns observed at the class level fail to capture the dynamics of a significant fraction of their constituent members, calling for caution when the ecological attributes of high-ranks are to be interpreted
Description13 pages, 6 figures, 2 tables, supplementary material http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.01293
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.01293
Identifiersdoi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01293
e-issn: 1664-302X
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