Microbial Ecology

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 125–140 | Cite as

Characterization, distribution, and significance ofMetallogenium in Lake Washington

  • Eileen Gregory
  • R. S. Perry
  • J. T. Staley


During summer stratification,Metallogenium personatun was found exclusively in the hypolimnion of Lake Washington where the oxygen tension was below 8 ppm. Numbers of the organism decreased in the lake immediately following turnover in October. Significant concentrations ofMetallogenium microcolonies did not recur until spring, after the lake had stratified. During stratification the distribution of particulate manganese closely followed the distribution ofMetallogenium. EDAX analysis, confirmed by electron microprobe analyses of the encrustation, showed that the primary component was manganese. Iron and some trace elements were also precipitated on the organism but to a lesser degree. In addition, phosphate, the primary substance limiting phytoplankton growth in Lake Washington, was found in the encrustation, indicatingMetallogenium maybe important in limiting algal blooms in the lake. Attempts to growMetallogenium in the laboratory were unsuccessful. This inability, combined with the negative results of thin-sectioning and acridine orange staining ofMetallogenium microcolonies, suggests that the microcolonial structures seen in Lake Washington are not a living form of an organism.


Manganese Phytoplankton Stratification Oxygen Tension Acridine 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eileen Gregory
    • 1
  • R. S. Perry
    • 1
  • J. T. Staley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattle

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