Microbial Ecology

, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 20–32 | Cite as

Diversity and Coding Potential of the Microbiota in the Photic and Aphotic Zones of Tropical Man-Made Lake with Intensive Aquaculture Activities: a Case Study on Temengor Lake, Malaysia

  • Nyok-Sean Lau
  • Kamarul Zaman Zarkasi
  • Amir Shah Ruddin Md Sah
  • Alexander Chong Shu-ChienEmail author
Microbiology of Aquatic Systems


Although freshwater biomes cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, they have disproportionate ecological significances. Attempts to study the taxonomy and function of freshwater microbiota are currently limited to samples collected from temperate lakes. In this study, we investigated samples from the photic and aphotic of an aquaculture site (disturbed) of Temengor Lake, a tropical lake in comparison with the undisturbed site of the lake using 16S rRNA amplicon and shotgun metagenomic approaches. Vertical changes in bacterial community composition and function of the Temengor Lake metagenomes were observed. The photic water layer of Temengor Lake was dominated by typical freshwater assemblages consisting of Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Cyanobacteria lineages. On the other hand, the aphotic water featured in addition to Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, and two more abundant bacterial phyla that are typically ubiquitous in anoxic habitats (Chloroflexi and Firmicutes). The aphotic zone of Temengor Lake exhibited genetic potential for nitrogen and sulfur metabolisms for which terminal electron acceptors other than oxygen are used in the reactions. The aphotic water of the disturbed site also showed an overrepresentation of genes associated with the metabolism of carbohydrates, likely driven by the enrichment of nutrient resulting from aquaculture activities at the site. The results presented in this study can serve as a basis for understanding the structure and functional capacity of the microbial communities in the photic and aphotic zones/water layers of tropical man-made lakes.


Tropical man-made lake Nitrogen metabolism Sulfur metabolism Photic Aphotic Microbial diversity 


Funding Information

This project was financially supported by the Research University (RU) project grant (1001/PCCB/870009). Financial support from the Universiti Sains Malaysia research Grant (USM1001/ PBiologi/870039) to A.S.R. Md Sah. was greatly appreciated.

Supplementary material

248_2018_1283_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (506 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 506 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nyok-Sean Lau
    • 1
  • Kamarul Zaman Zarkasi
    • 2
  • Amir Shah Ruddin Md Sah
    • 2
  • Alexander Chong Shu-Chien
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Chemical BiologyUniversiti Sains MalaysiaBayan LepasMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia

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