Current Microbiology

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 111–116 | Cite as

Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate-Polyacrylamide Gel Protein Electrophoresis of Freshwater Photosynthetic Sulfur Bacteria

  • M. Begoña Osuna
  • Emilio O. CasamayorEmail author


Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel protein electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was carried out using different bacterial strains of the photosynthetic sulfur bacteria Chlorobium, Thiocapsa, Thiocystis, and Chromatium cultured in the laboratory, and the natural blooms in two karstic lakes (Lake Cisó and Lake Vilar, NE Spain) where planktonic photosynthetic bacteria (purple and green sulfur bacteria) massively developed accounting for most of the microbial biomass. Several extraction, solubilization, and electrophoresis methods were tested to develop an optimal protocol for the best resolution of the SDS-PAGE. Protein composition from different water depths and at different times of the year was visualized within a molecular mass range between 100 and 15 kDa yielding up to 20 different protein bands. Protein banding patterns were reproducible and changed in time and with depth in agreement with changes in photosynthetic bacteria composition. When a taxonomically stable community was followed in time, differences were observed in the intensity but not in the composition of the SDS-PAGE banding pattern. Three environmental variables directly related to the activity of sulfur bacteria (light, oxygen, and sulfide concentrations) had a significant effect on protein banding patterns and explained 33% of the variance. Changes in natural protein profiles of the bacterial blooms agreed with changes in species composition and in the in situ metabolic state of the populations.


Photosynthetic Bacterium Green Sulfur Bacterium Bacterial Assemblage Natural Population Analysis Purple Sulfur Bacterium 
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.



We thank Montse Carrascal and Joaquín Abián from the Laboratory of Proteomics CSIC-UAB for advice in samples processing, and Albert Barberan for statistics. Work supported by grants VIARC REN2003-08333 and CRENYC CGL2006-12058 from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (MEC) to EOC. MBO received a I3P postdoctoral fellow from the Spanish Council for Research (CSIC).

Supplementary material

284_2010_9680_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (287 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 287 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Continental Ecology-LimnologyCenter for Advanced Studies of Blanes, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)BlanesSpain

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