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APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Aug. 2003, p. 49104914 Vol. 69, No. 8 0099-2240/03/$08.00 0 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.69.8.49104914.2003
 

Summary: APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Aug. 2003, p. 49104914 Vol. 69, No. 8
0099-2240/03/$08.00 0 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.69.8.49104914.2003
Copyright 2003, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Remarkable Diversity of Phototrophic Purple Bacteria
in a Permanently Frozen Antarctic Lake
Elizabeth A. Karr, W. Matthew Sattley, Deborah O. Jung,
Michael T. Madigan, and Laurie A. Achenbach*
Department of Microbiology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois 62901-6508
Received 11 February 2003/Accepted 7 May 2003
Although anoxygenic photosynthesis is thought to play an important role in the primary productivity of
permanently frozen lakes in the Antarctic dry valleys, the bacterial communities responsible for this metab-
olism remain uncharacterized. Here we report the composition and activity of phototrophic purple bacteria in
Lake Fryxell, Antarctica, as determined by analysis of a photosynthesis-specific gene, pufM. The results
revealed an extensive diversity and highly stratified distribution of purple nonsulfur bacteria in Lake Fryxell
and showed which phylotypes produced pufM transcripts in situ. Enrichment cultures for purple bacteria
yielded two morphotypes, each with a pufM signature identical to signatures detected by environmental
screening. The isolates also contained gas vesicles, buoyancy structures previously unknown in purple non-
sulfur bacteria, that may be necessary for these organisms to position themselves at specific depths within the
nearly freezing water column.
Lake Fryxell is a meromictic lake located 18 m above sea

  

Source: Achenbach, Laurie A. - Department of Microbiology, Southern Illinois University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Environmental Management and Restoration Technologies; Biology and Medicine