Journal Article

Isolation and characterization of aggregate-forming sulfate-reducing and purple sulfur bacteria from the chemocline of meromictic Lake Cadagno, Switzerland

Sandro Peduzzi, Mauro Tonolla and Dittmar Hahn

in FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Volume 45, issue 1, pages 29-37
Published in print July 2003 |
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1574-6941 | DOI:

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In situ hybridization with specific oligonucleotide probes was used to monitor enrichment cultures of yet uncultured populations of sulfate-reducing and small-celled purple sulfur bacteria found to associate into aggregates in the chemocline of meromictic Lake Cadagno, Switzerland, and to select potential isolates. Enrichment and isolation conditions resembled those of their nearest cultured relatives, the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfocapsa thiozymogenes and small-celled purple sulfur bacteria belonging to the genus Lamprocystis, respectively. Based on comparative 16S rRNA analysis and physiological characterization, isolate Cad626 was found to resemble D. thiozymogenes although it differed from the type strain by its ability to grow on lactate and pyruvate. Like D. thiozymogenes, isolate Cad626 was able to disproportionate inorganic sulfur compounds (sulfur, thiosulfate, sulfite) and to grow, although growth on sulfur required a sulfide scavenger (FeOOH). Isolate Cad16 represented small-celled purple sulfur bacteria that belonged to a previously detected, but uncultured population designated F and was related to Lamprocystis purpurea as evidenced by comparative 16S rRNA analysis and the presence of bacteriochlorophyll a and the carotenoid okenone. Mixed cultures of isolates Cad626 and Cad16 resulted in their association in aggregates similar to those observed in the chemocline of Lake Cadagno. Concomitant growth enhancement of both isolates in mixed culture suggested synergistic interactions that presumably resemble a source–sink relationship for sulfide between the sulfate-reducing bacterium growing by sulfur disproportionation and the purple sulfur bacteria acting as biotic scavenger.

Keywords: Desulfocapsa thiozymogenes; Lamprocystis; Okenone; Sulfide scavenger; Sulfur disproportionation

Journal Article.  5363 words.  Illustrated.

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