Original paper

Effect of salinity on cyanobacterial community composition along a transect from Fuliya spring into the water of Lake Kinneret, Israel

Junier, Pilar; Kim, Ok-Sun; Imhoff, Johannes F.; Witzel, Karl-Paul; Hadas, Ora


Cyanobacterial community composition was studied along a salinity gradient from the saline Spring Fuliya towards the water column of Lake Kinneret. The samples included a gradient of salinities ranging from 4270 mg Cl L-1 (Saline Spring) to 239 mg Cl L-1 (Lake Kinneret). Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and cloning of the 16 S rRNA gene, as well as cloning and sequencing of the psbA gene, were used to characterize cyanobacterial community composition. Despite the differences in salinity, similar cyanobacterial communities were observed in the lake and the saline spring, the only exception being the highest salinity sample (4270 mg Cl L-1). Both, DGGE patterns and results of the clone libraries revealed the dominance of cyanobacteria with colonial Gloeocapsa and unicellular Synechococcus as the closest known cultured relatives, independently of the salinity. These results suggest that cyanobacterial populations inhabiting this freshwater lake and its saline sources can adapt to a wide range of salinities.


16 s rrnapsbacyanobacteriafuliyalake kinneret