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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 237628, 8 pages
Research Article

The First Molecular Characterization of Picocyanobacteria from the Argentine Sea

1Instituto de Investigaciones de Biodiversidad y Biotecnología (INBIOTEC-CONICET), Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-FIBA), Vieytes 3103, 7600 Mar del Plata, Argentina
2Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo Victoria Ocampo No. 1, 7600 Mar del Plata, Argentina

Received 31 May 2014; Revised 2 October 2014; Accepted 3 October 2014; Published 20 November 2014

Academic Editor: Jakov Dulčić

Copyright © 2014 Macarena Perez-Cenci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Picocyanobacteria are abundant throughout the world’s oceans. Particularly, it has been reported that Synechococcus strains have a wide latitudinal distribution, from polar to tropical waters. However, their molecular characterization in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean is still missing. We analyzed Synechococcus genetic diversity in a sector of the Argentine Sea, one of the richest biological areas of the world oceans. 16S rRNA amplicons obtained after PCR amplification of environmental DNA extracted from water samples of this area were used for DGGE and sequenced. Only Synechococcus sequences could be retrieved. On the other hand, we isolated two Synechococcus strains from the environment. Our analyses revealed that the clade I group was widespread from latitude 38°S to 48°S and that can coexist with clade IV strains in shelf waters. The cooccurrence of these two clades may be related to an adaptation to high-nutrient/low-temperature waters. Our data are the first report on Synechococcus ecotypes that would be important contributors to phytoplankton biomass in the Argentine Sea, one of the richest biological areas of the world oceans.