Photosynthetic functions of Synechococcus in the ocean microbiomes of diverse salinity and seasons

Yihwan Kim, Jehyun Jeon, Min Seok Kwak, Gwang Hoon Kim, In Song Koh, Mina Rho

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11 Scopus citations


Synechococcus is an important photosynthetic picoplankton in the temperate to tropical oceans. As a photosynthetic bacterium, Synechococcus has an efficient mechanism to adapt to the changes in salinity and light intensity. The analysis of the distributions and functions of such microorganisms in the ever changing river mouth environment, where freshwater and seawater mix, should help better understand their roles in the ecosystem. Toward this objective, we have collected and sequenced the ocean microbiome in the river mouth of Kwangyang Bay, Korea, as a function of salinity and temperature. In conjunction with comparative genomics approaches using the sequenced genomes of a wide phylogeny of Synechococcus, the ocean microbiome was analyzed in terms of their composition and clade-specific functions. The results showed significant differences in the compositions of Synechococcus sampled in different seasons. The photosynthetic functions in such enhanced Synechococcus strains were also observed in the microbiomes in summer, which is significantly different from those in other seasons.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0190266
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018 Jan


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