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Dissimilatory arsenate and sulfate reduction in sediments of two hypersaline, arsenic-rich soda lakes: Mono and Searles Lakes, California

January 1, 2006

A radioisotope method was devised to study bacterial respiratory reduction of arsenate in sediments. The following two arsenic-rich soda lakes in California were chosen for comparison on the basis of their different salinities: Mono Lake (∼90 g/liter) and Searles Lake (∼340 g/liter). Profiles of arsenate reduction and sulfate reduction were constructed for both lakes. Reduction of [73As]arsenate occurred at all depth intervals in the cores from Mono Lake (rate constant [k] = 0.103 to 0.04 h−1) and Searles Lake (k = 0.012 to 0.002 h−1), and the highest activities occurred in the top sections of each core. In contrast, [35S]sulfate reduction was measurable in Mono Lake (k = 7.6 ×104 to 3.2 × 10−6 h−1) but not in Searles Lake. Sediment DNA was extracted, PCR amplified, and separated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to obtain phylogenetic markers (i.e., 16S rRNA genes) and a partial functional gene for dissimilatory arsenate reduction (arrA). The amplified arrA gene product showed a similar trend in both lakes; the signal was strongest in surface sediments and decreased to undetectable levels deeper in the sediments. More arrA gene signal was observed in Mono Lake and was detectable at a greater depth, despite the higher arsenate reduction activity observed in Searles Lake. A partial sequence (about 900 bp) was obtained for a clone (SLAS-3) that matched the dominant DGGE band found in deeper parts of the Searles Lake sample (below 3 cm), and this clone was found to be closely related to SLAS-1, a novel extremophilic arsenate respirer previously cultivated from Searles Lake.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2006
Title Dissimilatory arsenate and sulfate reduction in sediments of two hypersaline, arsenic-rich soda lakes: Mono and Searles Lakes, California
DOI 10.1128/AEM.01066-06
Authors T.R. Kulp, S.E. Hoeft, L.G. Miller, C. Saltikov, J.N. Murphy, S. Han, B. Lanoil, R.S. Oremland
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Index ID 70028099
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program