Blooms of Microcystis and other harmful cyanobacteria can degrade water quality by producing cyanotoxins or other toxic compounds. The goals of this study were (1) to facilitate understanding of community structure for various aquatic microorganisms in brackish water and freshwater regions with emphasis on cyanobacteria, and (2) to test a hypothesis that Microcystis genotypes that tolerate higher salinity were blooming in brackish water environments during the severe drought, 2014. Shotgun metagenomic analysis revealed that cyanobacteria dominated the brackish water region while bacteria dominated the freshwater region. A group of cyanobacteria (e.g., Aphanizomenon, Microcystis, Planktothrix, Pseudanabaena), bacteria (e.g., Bacillus, Porphyrobacter), and diatoms (Phaeodactylum and Thalassiosira) were abundant in the brackish water region. In contrast, Hassallia (cyanobacteria) and green algae (Nannochloropsis, Chlamydomonas, and Volvox) were abundant in the landward freshwater region. Station variation was also apparent. One landward sampling station located downstream of an urbanized area differed substantially from the other stations in terms of both water chemistry and community structure, with a higher percentage of arthropods, green algae, and eukaryotes. Screening of the Microcystis internal transcribed spacer region revealed six representative genotypes, and two of which were successfully quantified using qPCR (Genotypes I and VI). Both genotypes occurred predominantly in the freshwater region, so the data from this study did not support the hypothesis that salinity tolerant Microcystis genotypes bloomed in the brackish water region in 2014.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)