Phosphorus often limits bacterial production in freshwater ecosystems. However, little is known on whether different bacteria contribute to inorganic and organic phosphorus uptake proportionally to their relative abundance and production. Here, we followed the temporal dynamics of the main heterotrophic bacterial taxa taking up inorganic phosphate (33P-Pi) and organic phosphorus (33P-ATP) in two mountain lakes and compared them to their contribution to bacterial production (3H-leucine uptake). The short turnover times for Pi and ATP suggested that in both lakes, phosphorus was limiting most of the year. The bulk uptake rates and the fractions of cells labelled positive for Pi and ATP uptake followed a seasonal trend with minima in winter and maxima in summer. Generally, the bacterial taxa examined contributed to Pi and ATP uptake proportionally to their relative abundance, but not always to their contribution to bacterial production. For instance, AcI Actinobacteria were often underrepresented in phosphorus uptake compared with leucine incorporation suggesting they might have high intracellular C:P ratios. Our results emphasize that ATP utilization is widespread among freshwater bacteria and indicate that members within the dominant bacterial taxa (Actinobacteria and Betaproteobacteria) have variable phosphorus requirements, probably due to their different growth potential and variable degrees of homeostasis.
Rofner, C., Sommaruga, R., & Teresa Pérez, M. (2016). Phosphate and ATP uptake by lake bacteria: does taxonomical identity matter? Environmental Microbiology, 18(12), 4782–4793. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.13368