Microbial Diversity of Hypersaline Sediments from Lake Lucero Playa in White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA.

Authors: Kosala Ayantha Sirisena, Steven Ramirez, Andrew Steele, Mihaela Glamoclija
Journal: Microbial Ecology

Lake Lucero is a gypsum-rich, hypersaline, ephemeral playa located on the southern part of the Alkali Flat at the White Sands National Monument (WSNM), New Mexico, USA. This modern playa setting provides a dynamic extreme environment that changes from a freshwater lake to a hypersaline dry desert during the year. We investigated the microbial diversity (bacteria, archaea, and microbial eukaryotes) of the Lake Lucero sediments using 16S- and 18S-based amplicon sequencing approach and explored the diversity patterns in different geochemical microenvironments. Our results indicated that similar microbial communities, in particular bacterial communities colonized, were remarkably consistent across our depth profiles. Therefore, these communities show a first-order relevance on the environmental conditions (moisture content, oxygen content, and mineral composition). We found that ProteobacteriaActinobacteriaBacteroidetesFirmicutes, and Gemmatimonadetes were the major bacterial phyla, while Cyanobacteria were present in relatively low abundances and appeared only at the surface. Genus level assessment reflected that TrueperaDelftia, and Pseudomonas were the predominant bacterial genera across all samples. Euryarchaeota was the major archaeal phylum in all the samples, while Candidatus Halobonum and Candidatus Nitrososphaera were the main genera. Diatoms were the dominant eukaryotic group in surface samples and FungiCiliophoraMetazoa, and Nematodes were the other major groups. As expected, metabolic inference indicated that aerobic microbial communities were near surface colonizers, with anaerobic communities dominating with increasing depth. We demonstrated that these microbial communities could be used to characterize unique geochemical microenvironments enabling us to extrapolate these results into other terrestrial and possibly extraterrestrial environments with comparable geochemical characteristics.

Guest Talk on “Sri Lanka’s Prehistoric Life”

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ප්‍රාග් ඓතිහාසික ජීවීන් ගැන දැනගන්න අගහරුවදා (30th January) හවස 4 ට Zoology A1 එකට එන්න !!


The discussion for future cyanotoxin research on public health

Prof.Sampath Amaratunge, Vice chancellor of University of Sri Jayewardenepura held a special discussion with Cyanotoxin research experts Prof.Linda Lawton and Dr. Christine Edwards and Prof. Pathmalal Manage, director, Centre for water quality and algae research regarding future research initiatives and collaborations with the CyanoSol, Robert Gordon University, UK. This collaboration will lead to high impact research and exchange of postgraduate students between University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the Robert Gordon University, UK.

Furthermore, Prof.Sampath Amaratunge awarded with fellowships Prof.Linda Lawton and Dr. Christine Edwards to continue their service and support to upgrade the research and publication standards of University of Sri Jayewardenepura.dsc_0439 dsc_0443

Three days workshop on Cyanotoxin tool box II

In par with the 2nd International symposium on Cyanobacteria and Public health, a three days workshop on Cyanotoxin tool box II  was conducted by  Prof.Linda Lawton and Dr. Christine Edwards from the 16th to 18th January at the Centre for water quality and algae research. Postgraduate students and regional chemists from national water supplies and drainage board (NWSDB) were trained at this workshop.

26804943_2061320917228495_5897513522470000667_n 26904048_2061320913895162_2727665536335939456_n