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Spatiotemporal Changes in the Bacterial Community of the Meromictic Lake Uchum, Siberia


Lake Uchum is a newly defined meromictic lake in Siberia with clear seasonal changes in its mixolimnion. This study characterized the temporal dynamics and vertical profile of bacterial communities in oxic and anoxic zones of the lake across all four seasons: October (autumn), March (winter), May (spring), and August (summer). Bacterial richness and diversity in the anoxic zone varied widely between time points. Proteobacteria was the dominant bacterial phylum throughout the oxic and anoxic zones across all four seasons. Alphaproteobacteria (Loktanella) and Gammaproteobacteria (Aliidiomarina) exhibited the highest abundance in the oxic and anoxic zone, respectively. Furthermore, there was a successional shift in sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the anoxic zone across the seasons. The most dominant SRB, Desulfonatronovibrio sp., is likely one of the main producers of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and typically accumulates the most H2S in winter. The representative anoxygenic phototrophic bacterial group in Lake Uchum was purple sulfur bacteria (PSB). PSB were dominant (60.76%) in summer, but only had 0.2–1.5% relative abundance from autumn to spring. Multivariate analysis revealed that the abundance of these SRB and PSB correlated to the concentration of H2S in Lake Uchum. Taken together, this study provides insights into the relationships between changes in bacterial community and environmental features in Lake Uchum.

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The authors acknowledge the support from Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.


This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant no. 19-05-00428) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Government of Krasnoyarsk Territory and Krasnoyarsk Regional Fund of Science (project: «Bottom sediments of Lake Uchum (Krasnoyarsky kray) as a source of information for the reconstruction of the paleo-climate and the prediction of the healing properties of the lake», grant no. 18-45-243002) and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (project: “Transition in microbial community of stratified lakes in arid zone of South Siberia: Current and Past,” grant no. 105-2923-B-001-001-MY3 and project: «Postdoctoral Research Fellows», grant no. 108-2811-M-001-603).

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Chan, YF., Chiang, PW., Tandon, K. et al. Spatiotemporal Changes in the Bacterial Community of the Meromictic Lake Uchum, Siberia. Microb Ecol 81, 357–369 (2021).

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  • Lake Uchum
  • bacterial community
  • meromictic lake
  • purple sulfur bacteria