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Microbial communities of the stratified soda Lake Doroninskoe (Transbaikal region)

Gorlenko, V. M., Buryukhaev, S. P., Matyugina, E. B., Borzenko, S. V., Namsaraev, Z. B., Bryantseva, I. A., Boldareva, E. N., Sorokin, D. Yu., Namsaraev, B. B.
Microbiology 2010 v.79 no.3 pp. 390-401
Ectothiorhodospira, Halomonas, Rhodobacter, Rhodospirillaceae, Roseinatronobacter, Roseococcus, Thioalkalicoccus limnaeus, Thioalkalivibrio, anaerobic conditions, carbon dioxide, freezing, genes, halophiles, lakes, microbial communities, mineralization, oxidation, pH, permafrost, photosynthetic bacteria, primary productivity, ribosomal RNA, salt tolerance, shorelines, silt, species diversity, summer, thiosulfates, volcanoes
The physicochemical properties, species composition, and vertical distribution of microorganisms in the water column, shoreline microbial mat, and small shoreline mud volcanoes of the stratified soda Lake Doroninskoe were investigated in September 2007. The lake is located in the Transbaikal region, in the permafrost zone (51°25′N; 112°28′E). The maximal depth of the contemporary lake is about 6 m, the pH value of the water is 9.72, and the water mineralization in the near-bottom horizon is 32.3 g l⁻¹. In summer, the surface oxygen-containing horizon of the water column becomes demineralized to 26.5 g l⁻¹; at a depth of 3.5-4.0 m, an abrupt transition occurs to the aerobic zone containing hydrosulfide (up to 12.56 g l⁻¹). Hydrosulfide was also detected in trace quantities in the upper water horizons. The density stratification of the water column usually ensures stable anaerobic conditions until the freezing period (November and December). The primary production of oxygenic phototrophs reached 176-230 μg l⁻¹. High rates of dark CO₂ assimilation (61-240 μg l⁻¹) were detected in the chemocline. Within this zone, an alkaliphilic species of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria of the genus Thioalkalivibrio was detected (10⁴ cells ml⁻¹). Lithoheterotrophic bacteria Halomonas spp., as well as bacteriochlorophyll a-containing aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria (AAP) Roseinatronobacter sp. capable of thiosulfate oxidation, were isolated from samples collected from the aerobic zone (0-3 m). The water transparency in September was extremely low; therefore, no visible clusters of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria (APBs) were detected at the boundary of the hydrosulfide layer. However, purple sulfur bacteria which, according to the results of the 16S rRNA gene analysis, belong to the species Thioalkalicoccus limnaeus, Ectothiorhodospira variabilis, “Ect. magna,” and Ect. shaposhnikovii, were isolated from samples of deep silt sediments. Ect. variabilis and Ect. shaposhnikovii were the major APB species in the shoreline algo-bacterial mat. The halotolerant bacterium Ect. shaposhnikovii, purple nonsulfur bacteria of the genus Rhodobacter, and AAP of Roseococcus sp. were isolated from the samples collected from mud volcanoes. All these species are alkaliphiles, moderate halophiles, or halotolerant microorganisms.