Plankton are considered good indicators of water quality because they are highly sensitive to the environmental variation in their short life spans. However, traditional studies on plankton community constructure have depended on taxonomic identification which has historically been a difficult task. Recently, different fingerprinting techniques have been developed and applied successfully to analyze the community structure of bacterial and picoplankton. However, little is known to the whole plankton community. In this study, we analyze DNA polymorphism of plankton communities in five different sampling stations of Lake Niushan by RAPD and PCR-DGGE and explore the relationship between DNA fingerprinting structure of plankton communities and environmental physico-chemical factors. The results were: (i) 9 of 40 screened random primers used in the study amplified a total of 93 observable bands, 58 of which were polymorphic; the mean number of amplified bands at different sampling stations was 67, and station V had the maximum number (74) and station I had the minimum number (61); (ii) a total of 102 bands (56 of 16S rDNA bands and 46 of 18S rDNA bands) were detected by PCR-DGGE, station III, IV, and V had more bands, station I and II had few band; (iii) total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll-a, chemical oxygen demanded (COD), hardness, and conductance rate at station II were the highest; dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH value were not obviously different among five stations. Based on physico-chemical factors, station I, III, IV, and V were grouped into a cluster, station II grouped into a single cluster. Based on RAPD markers and PCR-DGGE markers, five sampling stations can be grouped into two clusters: station I and II were grouped into a cluster, and station III, IV, and V were grouped into the other cluster. In conclusion, the DNA fingerprinting structure of plankton community was closely related to total phosphorus (TP). DNA based community level analysis is a fast, easy, accurate method to reflect the water quality, and such data accumulation will play an important role in constructing one easy and sensitive molecular system for water quality assessment.
Wu Li (firstname.lastname@example.org) ; Yu Yuhe (email@example.com) ; Zhang Tanglin; Feng Weisong; Yan Qingyun; Gong Yingchun; Song Xiaohong.Relationship between DNA fingerprinting structure of plankton community and physicochemical factors in Lake Niushan,Hupo Kexue,2008,20(2):235-241