TEP production under oxidative stress of the picocyanobacterium Synechococcus

Synechococcus TEP production



  • Cristiana Callieri | cristiana.callieri@irsa.cnr.it Microbial Ecology Group, CNR-IRSA Water Research Institute, Verbania, Italy. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5669-5724
  • María B. Sathicq nstitute of Limnology “Dr. Raúl A. Ringuelet”, National University of La Plata - National Scientific and Technical Research Council (UNLP-CONICET), La Plata, Argentina.
  • Pedro J. Cabello-Yeves Evolutionary Genomics Group, Plant Science and Microbiology Department, Miguel Hernández University, San Juan de Alicante, Spain.
  • Ester M. Eckert Microbial Ecology Group, CNR-IRSA Water Research Institute, Verbania, Italy.
  • Justo Salvador Hernández-Avilés Laboratory of Limnology, UMIEZ, Biology Department, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.


Transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) are mainly acidic polysaccharides directly or indirectly formed by phytoplankton and bacteria. These particles are often colonized by picoplankton and considered a hot spot for microbial activity. Recent studies suggested an important role of Synechococcus in TEP production found in lakes and prompted us to further investigate this issue using monoclonal xenic cultures of Synechococcus. We tested TEP production under oxidative stress in two treatments, one with hydrogen peroxide and another treated with ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and high photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), compared with an unstressed control. Our results showed a cell-normalized TEP production, ranging from 12 to 238 ng C cell-1 among strains, not only under stress but also in the control with non-limiting nutrients. Our data prove that freshwater communities of Synechococcus and their associated heterotrophic microflora, are capable of producing TEP even during growth phase. The oxidative stress induced extra production of TEP up to 400 ng C cell-1 in one of our phycocyanin-type (PC) strain. The phycoerythrin-type (PE) strains increased TEP production, particularly under UV-PAR stress, whereas the PC strains did it under H2O2 stress. This study provides new perspectives on the potential role of freshwater Synechococcus in TEP production.



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Original Articles
Edited by
Diego Fontaneto, CNR-IRSA Water Research Institute, Verbania, Italy
Transparent exopolymer particles, Synechococcus spp., oxidative stress, ROS, UVR
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How to Cite
Callieri C, Sathicq MB, Cabello-Yeves PJ, Eckert EM, Hernández-Avilés JS. TEP production under oxidative stress of the picocyanobacterium Synechococcus: Synechococcus TEP production. J Limnol [Internet]. 2019 Jul. 10 [cited 2021 Jun. 20];78(3). Available from: https://jlimnol.it/index.php/jlimnol/article/view/jlimnol.2019.1907

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