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Taxonomical and functional diversity of microbial communities in saline-alkaline lakes from Brazilian Pantanal

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Gabriela Machineski da Silva
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALA/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Marli de Fatima Fiore; Maria do Carmo Calijuri; Hugo Miguel Preto de Morais Sarmento
Advisor: Marli de Fatima Fiore

The saline-alkaline lakes (salinas) of the Nhecolândia sub-region of the Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul state, combine high pH values with the presence of high salt concentrations, resembling the soda lakes of East Africa. The current understanding of physical, chemical and biological mechanisms in these extreme environments is limited. Although microorganisms are involved in biogeochemical processes in aquatic ecosystem, researches on the bacterial groups that contribute to diversity and specific functions in these salinas are scarce. This dissertation therefore focused on the evaluation of bacterial community of two salinas (Salina Verde and Salina Preta) located in the Nhecolândia subregion. Specifically, it was investigated the diversity and structure of bacterial communities, the metabolic profile of the lakes and functional genes that encode the nitrogen, mercury and arsenic-transforming enzymes. Water samples were collected during the dry season (September 2012) from Salina Verde (pH 9.5, E.C. 2575 mS cm-1), characterized by constant presence of cyanobacterial bloom, and from Salina Preta (pH 8.9, E.C. 1500 mS cm-1), with no report of bloom occurrence. Triplicate samplings were carried out in two depths (surface and bottom) and twice a day (10 AM and 3 PM) due to naturally occurrence of oxygen saturation, observed at Salina Verde. Total DNA of each environmental sample was extracted and bacterial diversity and functionality were accessed by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and metagenomic sequencing. Analysis of quantitative PCR of the 16S rRNA gene was performed in order to quantify the bacterial community. Bacterial abundance was higher in the Salina Verde than in the Salina Preta (1010 and 109 copies mL-1, respectively). The partial sequences of the 16S rRNA gene obtained in the pyrosequencing revealed the genus Anabaenopsis sp. as the dominant taxa in the Salina Verde bloom, encompassing up to 92% of the total bacteria. Bacterial community of the Salina Preta showed the highest diversity and richness index, with dominant phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Only the Salina Preta showed differences in bacterial community in accordance with the depths sampled. On the surface of this lake, the phyla Actinobacteria and Verrucomicrobia predominated, while in the bottom, Proteobacteria and Chlamydiae prevailed. The temperature was detected as the abiotic factor influencing the spatial heterogeneity at Salina Preta. On the other hand, alkalinity and pH were the factors driving the differences and variation of bacterial community in both lakes. Bacterial genes involved in the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, mercury and arsenic were found in Salina Verde and Salina Preta, suggesting a high metabolic redundancy in the transformation these elements. No microbial genes involved in selenium cycle were found. The data showed a taxonomic and functional complex microbial community inhabiting salinas. The results of this study provide a detailed assessment based on culture-independent approaches, which is a stepping stone to understand the functional dynamics of these environments in the Brazilian Pantanal. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/20142-4 - Bacterial diversity in alkaline-saline lakes of the Pantanal of Nhecolândia-MS
Grantee:Gabriela Machineski da Silva
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master