Bacterial populations in epilithic biofilms along two oligotrophic rivers in the Tohoku region in Japan.

Honma H, Asano R, Obara M, Otawa K, Suyama Y, Nakai Y.

Bacterial populations in epilithic biofilms collected from two distinct oligotrophic rivers of Japan were studied using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). PCR-DGGE of the 16S rRNA gene and subsequent sequencing analysis suggested that in freshwater biofilms, members of the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides (CFB) group were the most dominant, followed by those of alpha, beta, gamma, and delta-Proteobacteria; Leptospiraceae; and unidentified bacteria. Members of the CFB group, alpha-Proteobacteria, and cyanobacteria/plastid DNA were also detected from the biofilms collected from the estuary site, but the species in these samples differed from those detected in biofilms in the freshwater areas of the rivers. A comparison between the determined sequences revealed that similar bacterial species existed in biofilms at different sites of a river, and identical species existed in biofilms of distinct rivers. The results suggested that bacterial species in biofilms found in the estuary were different from those found in the freshwater areas of the rivers; however, the common bacterial species were distributed in biofilms collected from not only different sites along the same river but also sites in distinct oligotrophic rivers.

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