Dominance of a clonal green sulfur bacterial population in a stratified lake

Lea H. Gregersen, Kirsten Silvia Habicht, Sandro Peduzzi, Mauro Tonolla, Donald Eugene Canfield, Mette Miller, Raymond Pickett Cox, Niels-Ulrik Frigaard

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For many years, the chemocline of the meromictic Lake Cadagno, Switzerland, was dominated by purple sulfur bacteria. However, following a major community shift in recent years, green sulfur bacteria (GSB) have come to dominate. We investigated this community by performing microbial diversity surveys using FISH cell counting and population multilocus sequence typing [clone library sequence analysis of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA locus and two loci involved in photosynthesis in GSB: fmoA and csmCA]. All bacterial populations clearly stratified according to water column chemistry. The GSB population peaked in the chemocline (c. 8 × 106 GSB cells mL−1) and constituted about 50% of all cells in the anoxic zones of the water column. At least 99.5% of these GSB cells had SSU rRNA, fmoA, and csmCA sequences essentially identical to that of the previously isolated and genome-sequenced GSB Chlorobium clathratiforme strain BU-1 (DSM 5477). This ribotype was not detected in Lake Cadagno before the bloom of GSB. These observations suggest that the C. clathratiforme population that has stabilized in Lake Cadagno is clonal. We speculate that such a clonal bloom could be caused by environmental disturbance, mutational adaptation, or invasion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)30-41
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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