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Microbial Ecology

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 291–310 | Cite as

Local Conditions Structure Unique Archaeal Communities in the Anoxic Sediments of Meromictic Lake Kivu

  • Susma Bhattarai
  • Kelly Ann Ross
  • Martin Schmid
  • Flavio S. Anselmetti
  • Helmut BürgmannEmail author
Microbiology of Aquatic Systems

Abstract

Meromictic Lake Kivu is renowned for its enormous quantity of methane dissolved in the hypolimnion. The methane is primarily of biological origin, and its concentration has been increasing in the past half-century. Insight into the origin of methane production in Lake Kivu has become relevant with the recent commercial extraction of methane from the hypolimnion. This study provides the first culture-independent approach to identifying the archaeal communities present in Lake Kivu sediments at the sediment-water interface. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis suggests considerable heterogeneity in the archaeal community composition at varying sample locations. This diversity reflects changes in the geochemical conditions in the sediment and the overlying water, which are an effect of local groundwater inflows. A more in-depth look at the archaeal community composition by clone library analysis revealed diverse phylogenies of Euryarchaeota and Crenarachaeota. Many of the sequences in the clone libraries belonged to globally distributed archaeal clades such as the rice cluster V and Lake Dagow sediment environmental clusters. Several of the determined clades were previously thought to be rare among freshwater sediment Archaea (e.g., sequences related to the SAGMEG-1 clade). Surprisingly, there was no observed relation of clones to known hydrogentrophic methanogens and less than 2 % of clones were related to acetoclastic methanogens. The local variability, diversity, and novelty of the archaeal community structure in Lake Kivu should be considered when making assumptions on the biogeochemical functioning of its sediments.

Keywords

Total Organic Carbon Archaea Clone Library Methanogenesis Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the following people: Irene Brunner (Eawag) for performing elemental analysis of the sediment samples and Francisco Vazquez for help with molecular analyses. Fabrice Muvundja, Augustin Gafasi, and the crew of the Gloria for support during the sampling campaign. Tina Lösekann (MPI Bremen) and Carsten Schubert (Eawag), for providing the full set of archaeal sequences from Lago Cadagno sediment. We are grateful to the EPP program of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft and Eawag for providing S. Bhattarai with the opportunity to perform this research and to Alfred Wüest (Eawag) for scientific discussions and for providing funding for an additional research visit of S. Bhattarai to complete the manuscript. The sampling campaign and the salary of K.A. Ross were financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation grant IZ70Z0_123923.

Supplementary material

248_2012_34_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (201 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 201 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susma Bhattarai
    • 1
  • Kelly Ann Ross
    • 1
  • Martin Schmid
    • 1
  • Flavio S. Anselmetti
    • 1
  • Helmut Bürgmann
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surface Waters-Research and ManagementEawag, Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and TechnologyKastanienbaumSwitzerland

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