The diel dynamics of bacterio- and phytoplankton as main compartments in the pelagic foodweb were followed in order to assess the coupling between algal photosynthesis and bacterial growth during a diel cycle in Lake Võrstjärv, Estonia. Three diurnal studies were carried out, on July 12th–13th, 1994; on June 25th–26th, 1995 and on July 17th–18th, 1995 with a sampling interval of 3–4 hours. Diel variations in bacterial number, biomass and productivity, in phytoplankton primary production and extracellular release of photosynthetic products, in ciliate number and biomass were followed. Phytoplankton was dominated by filamentous species: Limnothrix redekei, Oscillatoria sp., Aulacoseira (Melosira) ambigua and Planktolyngbya limnetica. The abundance of bacteria ranged from 4.1 to 14.6 · 1012 cells m-2 (median 9.88). The production of heterotrophic bacteria varied from 0.6 to 11 mgC m-2 h-1 (median 3.65), the variation during diel cycle was high. Depth integrated values of particulate (PPpart) and extracellular primary production (PPdiss) ranged from 6 to 55 and from 17 to 90 mgC m- 2 h-1, respectively. About 50 ciliate taxa were identified among them more abundant were bacterivores, bacterivores- herbivores and omnivores. Biomass of bacterivorous ciliates (TCbact) varied from 8 to 427 mgC m-2. Bacterioplankton production constituted not more than 20% of total primary production (particulate + released), dynamics of bacterial production was related to the primary production, the correlation was negative with PPpart and positive with PPdiss. Different types of potential controlling factors of bacterioplankton (N and P nutrient control, bottom-up control by food and top-down control) are discussed.