World Journal Microbiology and  Biotechnology, 30:3 (2014) 1101-1110.

DOI: 10.1007/s11274-013-1530-y


Pristine cold oligotrophic lakes show unique physical and chemical characteristics with permanent fluctuation in temperature and carbon source availability. Incorporation of organic toxic matters to these ecosystems could alter the bacterial community composition. Our goal was to assess the effects of simazine (Sz) and 2,4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) upon the metabolic and genetic diversity of the bacterial community in sediment samples from a pristine cold oligotrophic lake. Sediment samples were collected in winter and summer season, and microcosms were prepared using a ration 1:10 (sediments:water). The microcosms were supplemented with 0.1 mM 2,4-D or 0.5 mM Sz and incubated for 20 days at 10 °C. Metabolic diversity was evaluated by using the Biolog Ecoplate™ system and genetic diversity by 16S rDNA amplification followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis. Total bacterial counts and live/dead ratio were determined by epifluorescence microscopy. The control microcosms showed no significant differences (P > 0.05) in both metabolic and genetic diversity between summer and winter samples. On the other hand, the addition of 2,4-D or Sz to microcosms induces statistical significant differences (P < 0.05) in metabolic and genetic diversity showing the prevalence of Actinobacteria group which are usually not detected in the sediments of these non-contaminated lacustrine systems. The obtained results suggest that contaminations of cold pristine lakes with organic toxic compounds of anthropic origin alter their homeostasis by inhibiting specific susceptible bacterial groups. The concomitant increase of usually low representative bacterial groups modifies the bacterial composition commonly found in this pristine lake.

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