Szabó, A., Korponai, K., Kerepesi, Cs., Somogyi, B., Vörös, L., Bartha, D., Márialigeti, K., Felföldi, T. 2017. Soda pans of the Pannonian steppe harbor unique bacterial communities adapted to multiple extreme conditions. Extremophiles, 21, 639-649.
Soda pans of the Pannonian steppe are unique environments regarding their physical and chemical characteristics: shallowness, high turbidity, intermittent character, alkaline pH, polyhumic organic carbon concentration, hypertrophic condition, moderately high salinity, sodium and carbonate ion dominance. The pans are highly productive environments with picophytoplankton predominance. Little is known about the planktonic bacterial communities inhabiting these aquatic habitats; therefore, amplicon sequencing and shotgun metagenomics were applied to reveal their composition and functional properties. Results showed a taxonomically complex bacterial community which was distinct from other soda lakes regarding its composition, e.g. the dominance of class Alphaproteobacteria was observed within phylum Proteobacteria. The shotgun metagenomic analysis revealed several functional gene components related to the harsh and at the same time hypertrophic environmental conditions, e.g. proteins involved in stress response, transport and hydrolase systems targeting phytoplankton-derived organic matter. This is the first detailed report on the indigenous planktonic bacterial communities coping with the multiple extreme conditions present in the unique soda pans of the Pannonian steppe.
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