Advertisement

Extremophiles

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 191–200 | Cite as

Microbial diversity of soda lakes

  • B. E. Jones
  • William D. Grant
  • A. W. Duckworth
  • G. G. Owenson

Abstract

Soda lakes are highly alkaline extreme environments that form in closed drainage basins exposed to high evaporation rates. Because of the scarcity of Mg2+ and Ca2+ in the water chemistry, the lakes become enriched in CO32− and Cl, with pHs in the range 8 to >12. Although there is a clear difference in prokaryotic communities between the hypersaline lakes where NaCl concentrations are >15% w/v and more dilute waters, i.e., NaCl concentrations about 5% w/v, photosynthetic primary production appears to be the basis of all nutrient recycling. In both the aerobic and anaerobic microbial communities the major trophic groups responsible for cycling of carbon and sulfur have in general been identified. Systematic studies have shown that the microbes are alkaliphilic and many represent separate lineages within accepted taxa, while others show no strong relationship to known prokaryotes. Although alkaliphiles are widespread it seems probable that these organisms, especially those unique to the hypersaline lakes, evolved separately within an alkaline environment. Although present-day soda lakes are geologically quite recent, they have probably existed since archaean times, permitting the evolution of independent communities of alkaliphiles since an early period in the Earth's history.

Key words Alkaliphile Diversity Screening 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. E. Jones
    • 1
  • William D. Grant
    • 2
  • A. W. Duckworth
    • 2
  • G. G. Owenson
    • 2
  1. 1.Genencor International BV, PO Box 642, 2600 AP, Delft, The Netherlands Tel. +31-15-284-3084; Fax. +31-15-284-3076 e-mail: bjones@genencor.comNL
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leicester, Maurice Shock Building, University Road, Leicester, LE1 9HN, U.K.GB

Personalised recommendations