, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 339–348 | Cite as

Isolation and characterisation of bacteria from the haloalkaline Lake Elmenteita, Kenya

  • Romano MwirichiaEmail author
  • A. W. Muigai
  • B. Tindall
  • H. I. Boga
  • E. Stackebrandt
Original Paper


Culture-independent studies show that soda lake environments harbour diverse groups of bacteria and archaea. In this study different enrichment and isolation media were used in an attempt to isolate novel groups of bacteria from Lake Elmenteita. Different media were prepared using filter-sterilised water from the lake. The isolates recovered were purified on tryptic soy agar supplemented with 1% sodium carbonate and 4% sodium chloride. Phylogenetic analysis of 181 partial 16S rRNA gene sequences with excellent quality showed that the majority of the isolates were affiliated to the class Gammaproteobacteria and to the genus Bacillus. Isolates from the genus Halomonas and Bacillus constituted 37 and 31% of the total sequenced isolates, respectively. Other groups recovered were related to Marinospirillum, Idiomarina, Vibrio, Enterococcus, Alkalimonas, Alkalibacterium, Amphibacillus, Marinilactibacillus and the actinobacteria Nocardiopsis and Streptomyces. Fifty-one different genera were represented with 31 and 15 cultures scoring with their nearest neighbour similarities below 98 and 97%, respectively. Some novel taxa were identified which had not been isolated previously from the soda environment. The results show that the use of different media with varying compositions can help retrieve novel bacterial diversity from the soda lake environment.


Soda lakes Diversity Alkaliphiles 



This work was supported by DAAD within the frame work of a Sandwich Ph.D. scholarship to Romano Mwirichia.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romano Mwirichia
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. W. Muigai
    • 1
  • B. Tindall
    • 2
  • H. I. Boga
    • 1
  • E. Stackebrandt
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Biotechnology ResearchJomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and TechnologyNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und ZellkulturenBraunschweigGermany

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