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PLoS One. 2018 Dec 26;13(12):e0209743. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209743. eCollection 2018.

Bacterial diversity in the water column of meromictic Lake Cadagno and evidence for seasonal dynamics.

Author information

Laboratory of Applied Microbiology (LMA), Department for Environmental Constructions and Design (DACD), University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Microbiology Unit, Department of Botany and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Alpine Biology Center Foundation, Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Federal Office for Civil Protection, Spiez Laboratory, Biology Division, Spiez, Switzerland.
Institute of Chemistry, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Bueche μlab, Le Pâquier, Switzerland.


The meromictic Lake Cadagno is characterized by a compact chemocline with high concentrations of anoxygenic phototrophic purple and green sulfur bacteria. However, a complete picture of the bacterial diversity, and in particular of effects of seasonality and compartmentalization is missing. To characterize bacterial communities and elucidate relationships between them and their surrounding environment high-throughput 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing was conducted. Proteobacteria, Chlorobi, Verrucomicrobia, and Actinobacteria were the dominant groups in Lake Cadagno water column. Moreover, bacterial interaction within the chemocline and between oxic and anoxic lake compartments were investigated through fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and flow cytometry (FCM). The different populations of purple sulfur bacteria (PSB) and green sulfur bacteria (GSB) in the chemocline indicate seasonal dynamics of phototrophic sulfur bacteria composition. Interestingly, an exceptional bloom of a cyanobacteria population in the oxic-anoxic transition zone affected the common spatial distribution of phototrophic sulfur bacteria with consequence on chemocline location and water column stability. Our study suggests that both bacterial interactions between different lake compartments and within the chemocline can be a dynamic process influencing the stratification structure of Lake Cadagno water column.

Conflict of interest statement

We have the following interests. Matthieu Bueche is affiliated to Bueche μlab. There are no patents, products in development or marketed products to declare. This does not alter our adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials, as detailed online in the guide for authors.

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