Diversity, activity, and abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria in saline nad hypersaline soda lakes

M. Foti, D.Y. Sorokin, B.P. Lomans, M. Mussman, E.E. Zacharova, N.V. Pimenov, J.G. Kuenen, G. Muyzer

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159 Citations (Scopus)


Soda lakes are naturally occurring highly alkaline and saline environments. Although the sulfur cycle is one of the most active element cycles in these lakes, little is known about the sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). In this study we investigated the diversity, activity, and abundance of SRB in sediment samples and enrichment cultures from a range of (hyper)saline soda lakes of the Kulunda Steppe in southeastern Siberia in Russia. For this purpose, a polyphasic approach was used, including denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of dsr gene fragments, sulfate reduction rate measurements, serial dilutions, and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Comparative sequence analysis revealed the presence of several novel clusters of SRB, mostly affiliated with members of the order Desulfovibrionales and family Desulfobacteraceae. We detected sulfate reducers and observed substantial sulfate reducing rates (between 12 and 423 µmol/dm3 day¿1) for most lakes, even at a salinity of 475 g/liter. Enrichments were obtained at salt saturating conditions (4 M Na+), using H2 or volatile fatty acids as electron donors, and an extremely halophilic SRB, strain ASO3-1, was isolated. Furthermore, a high dsr gene copy number of 108 cells per ml was detected in a hypersaline lake by qPCR. Our results indicate the presence of diverse and active SRB communities in these extreme ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2093-2100
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • sulfur-oxidizing bacteria
  • fresh-water sediment
  • 16s ribosomal-rna
  • sp-nov.
  • mono lake
  • gen. nov.
  • environment
  • reduction
  • community
  • microorganisms

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