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Szabó, G., Khayer, B., Rusznyák, A., Tátrai, I., Dévai, G., Márialigeti, K., Borsodi, A.K. 2011. Seasonal and spatial variability of sediment bacterial communities inhabiting the large shallow Lake Balaton. Hydrobiologia, 663, 217-232.
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Seasonal studies of surface sediment bacterial communities, from two basins with differing trophic states within Lake Balaton (Hungary), were carried out using molecular (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, DGGE) and cultivation-based techniques. The presence of polyphosphate accumulates was tested using Neisser staining, and phosphatase activity was investigated on organic phosphorus (P) compound. Aerobic viable cell counts were significantly higher in the eutrophic than mesotrophic basin in each season. The lowest viable counts were observed in the autumn and the highest in spring and summer month in both basins. The DGGE fingerprints of the samples reflected that the composition of sediment bacterial communities in the two basins were distinct in spring and summer, and similar in autumn, but similarly diverse in all seasons. On the basis of partial 16S rDNA sequences, the 216 strains were affiliated with six major bacterial lineages: Firmicutes; Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria. Common species characterized from both basins constituted up to 66% of all identified phylotypes. Strains related to Bacillus sp. were dominant in all but one sample. Isolates affiliated with Aeromonas sp. prevailed in the sample taken from the mesotrophic basin in spring. The majority of the strains showed excess poly-P accumulation. Association of Neisser staining and phosphatase activity test results suggested that excess poly-P accumulation serves as P storage for sediment bacteria. Our study implied the importance of Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Aeromonas species in benthic bacterial P retention.

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