Common evolutionary origin of planktonic and benthic nitrogen-fixing oscillatoriacean cyanobacteria from tropical oceans

R. M M Abed, Katarzyna A. Palinska, Gilbert Camoin, Stjepko Golubic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


The filamentous cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Hydrocoleum (Blennothrix) are among the most common mat-forming cyanobacteria in tropical oceans. We present here the evidence that these benthic cyanobacteria are morphologically and phylogenetically very close to the planktonic species of Trichodesmium. Genetic relationship was established independently with regard to sequences of the 16S rRNA gene, nifH gene, and phycocyanin and phycoerythrin intergenic spacers. The species of both genera formed a common distinct branch in phylogenetically reconstructed cyanobacterial trees, suggesting that the main constituents of cyanobacterial benthos and plankton have an early common origin and both represent major contributors to nitrogen budget of tropical oceans today as in the distant geological past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006



  • Benthos
  • Hydrocoleum
  • Marine cyanobacteria
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Phylogeny
  • Plankton
  • Trichodesmium
  • Tropical oceans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology

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