AME 56:285-296 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01311

Emission spectroscopy and kinetic fluorometry studies of phototrophic microbial communities along a salinity gradient in solar saltern evaporation ponds of Eilat, Israel

Ondřej Prášil1,*, David Bína2, Hana Medová1, Klára Řeháková3, 4, Eliška Zapomělová4, Jana Veselá5, Aharon Oren6

1Institute of Microbiology, ASCR, Opatovický mlýn, Tŕeboň 379 81, and Institute of Physical Biology, University of South Bohemia, Nový Zámek 136, Nové Hrady 373 33, Czech Republic
2Institute of Plant Molecular Biology, Biology Centre, ASCR, Branišovská 31, České Budějovice 370 05, and Institute of Physiology, ASCR, Vídenšká 1083, Prague 14220, Czech Republic
3Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Centre, ASCR, Na Sádkách 7, České Budějovice 370 05, Czech Republic
4Institute of Botany, ASCR, Dukelská 135, Tŕeboň 379 82, Czech Republic
5Department of Botany, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Benátská 2, Prague 2, 128 01, Czech Republic
6Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, The Institute of Life Sciences, and the Moshe Shilo Minerva Center for Marine Biogeochemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

ABSTRACT: The planktonic and benthic microbial communities in 8 hypersaline evaporation ponds of the Israel Salt Company in Eilat, Israel, with salinities ranging from 58 to 329 g l–1 (total dissolved salt), were studied using fluorescence emission spectroscopy and kinetic fluorometry. With increasing salinity, the anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria (containing bacteriochlorophyll a, bchl a) formed a significant and increasing fraction of the planktonic phototrophic biomass. While the bchl a/chl a molar ratio was 0.01 at the lowest salinity, it reached almost 1 at the higher salinities. In the benthic communities, emission spectroscopy revealed depth-dependent changes in the photophysiology of benthic oxygenic phototrophs, and spatial variability in the abundance of several groups of anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria (green bacteria containing chlorosomes and purple bacteria containing LH1). In general, the emission signal of the benthic oxygenic phototrophs (diatoms and Cyanobacteria) was dominated by photosystem I (detected in some cases down to 5 cm of sediment depth). The signal of photosystem II and phycobilisomes was several times weaker and was observed mostly in the surface layers. The spectroscopic data of microbial communities were complemented by microscopic characterization.


KEY WORDS: Phototrophic microbial communities · Hypersaline · Cyanobacteria · Plankton · Emission spectroscopy · Kinetic fluorometry


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Cite this article as: Prásil O, Bína D, Medová H, Řeháková K, Zapomelová E, Veselá J, Oren A (2009) Emission spectroscopy and kinetic fluorometry studies of phototrophic microbial communities along a salinity gradient in solar saltern evaporation ponds of Eilat, Israel. Aquat Microb Ecol 56:285-296. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01311

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