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Production of exopolymers (EPS) by cyanobacteria: impact on the carbon-to-nutrient ratio of the particulate organic matter

TitreProduction of exopolymers (EPS) by cyanobacteria: impact on the carbon-to-nutrient ratio of the particulate organic matter
Type de publicationJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuteursPannard, A, Pédronon, J, Bormans, M, Briand, E, Claquin, P, Lagadeuc, Y
JournalAquatic Ecology
Pagination1-16
Résumé

Freshwater cyanobacteria can produce large amount of mucilage, particularly during large blooms. The production of these carbon-rich exopolymers (EPS) should influence the carbon-to-nutrient ratios of the organic matter (OM), which are regularly used as a proxy for the herbivorous food quality. However, little is known about the consequences of EPS production on the carbon-to-nutrient ratio of the OM. Two EPS forms can be distinguished: the free fraction composed of soluble extracellular polymeric substances (S-EPS) and the particulate fraction corresponding to the transparent exopolymer particles (TEP). The aim of the study was to determine whether the TEP and S-EPS productions by cyanobacteria influence the carbon-to-nutrient ratios of the particulate OM (POM). Five cyanobacteria species were grown in batch culture and characterized in terms of photosynthetic activity, EPS production, and C, N, P
contents. The variability in EPS production was compared with the variability in stoichiometry of the POM. Most of cyanobacteria live in association with
heterotrophic bacteria (HB) within the mucilage. The effect of the presence/absence of HB on EPS production and the carbon-to-nutrient ratios of the POM was also characterized for the cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa. We showed that TEP production increased the carbon-to-nutrient ratios of the POM in
the absence of HB, while the stoichiometry did not significantly change when HB were present. The C:N ratio of the POM decreased with production of  S-EPS by the five species. Lastly, the three colonial species (Chroococcales) tend to produce more TEP than the two filamentous species (Oscillatoriales), with the two picocyanobacteria being the most productive of both TEP and S-EPS.