The seasonal and spatial diversity of picocyanobacteria (Pcy) in lakes of the Great Mazurian Lakes (GLM) system was examined by DGGE analysis of molecular markers derived from the 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the ribosomal operon and the phycocyanin operon (cpcBA-IGS). The study of nine lakes, ranging from mesotrophy to hypereutrophy, demonstrated seasonal variance of Pcy. The richness and Shannon diversity index calculated on the basis of both markers were higher in spring and lower in early and late summer. No statistically significant relationships were found between the markers and trophic status of the studied lakes or Pcy abundance. There were, however, statistically significant relationships between the diversity indices and sampling time. The analysis pointed to a different distribution of the two markers. The ITS marker exhibited more unique sequences in time and space, whereas a greater role for common and ubiquitous sequences was indicated by the cpcBA-IGS data. Examination of the Pcy community structure demonstrated that communities were grouped in highly similar clusters according to sampling season/time rather than to the trophic status of the lake. Our results suggest that time is more important than trophic status in shaping the diversity and structure of Pcy communities. The seasonal changes in picocyanobacteria and differences in diversity and community structures are discussed in the context of well-established ecological hypotheses: the PEG model, intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH), and horizontal gene transfer (HGT).