, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 651–663 | Cite as

Effect of salinity on diazotrophic activity and microbial composition of phototrophic communities from Bitter-1 soda lake (Kulunda Steppe, Russia)

  • Zorigto Namsaraev
  • Olga Samylina
  • Marina Sukhacheva
  • Gennadii Borisenko
  • Dimitry Y. Sorokin
  • Tatiana Tourova
Original Paper


Bitter-1 is a shallow hypersaline soda lake in Kulunda Steppe (Altai region, Russia). During a study period between 2005 and 2016, the salinity in the littoral area of the lake fluctuated within the range from 85 to 400 g/L (in July of each year). Light-dependent nitrogen fixation occurred in this lake up to the salt-saturating conditions. The rates increased with a decrease in salinity, both under environmental conditions and in laboratory simulations. The salinities below 100 g/L were favorable for light-dependent nitrogen fixation, while the process was dramatically inhibited above 200 g/L salts. The analysis of nifH genes in environmental samples and in enrichment cultures of diazotrophic phototrophs suggested that anaerobic fermenting and sulfate-reducing bacteria could participate in the dark nitrogen fixation process up to soda-saturating conditions. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that haloalkaliphilic nonheterocystous cyanobacteria (Euhalothece sp. and Geitlerinema sp.) and anoxygenic purple sulfur bacteria (Ectothiorhodospira sp.) might also play a role in the process at light conditions. The heterocystous cyanobacterium Nodularia sp. develops at low salinity (below 80 g/L) that is not characteristic for Bitter-1 Lake and thus does not make a significant contribution to the nitrogen fixation in this lake.


Nitrogen fixation Phototrophic bacteria Sulfate-reducing bacteria Hypersaline Soda lakes 



This work was supported by the Program of fundamental research for state academies (No. 01201350928), Russian Academy of Sciences and Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations (Project Nos. 0104-2018-0033 and 0104-2018-0030). ZN was supported by the NRC “Kurchatov Institute”. DS was supported by the the Gravitation-SIAM program of the Dutch Ministry of Education and Science (24002002).


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zorigto Namsaraev
    • 1
  • Olga Samylina
    • 2
  • Marina Sukhacheva
    • 3
  • Gennadii Borisenko
    • 4
  • Dimitry Y. Sorokin
    • 2
    • 5
  • Tatiana Tourova
    • 2
  1. 1.NRC “Kurchatov Institute”MoscowRussia
  2. 2.Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Research Center of Biotechnology RASMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Institute of Bioengineering, Research Center of Biotechnology RASMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Soil Science FacultyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  5. 5.Department of BiotechnologyDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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