Sediment microbial community structure and mercury methylation in mercury-polluted Clear Lake, California

J. L. Macalady, E. E. Mack, D. C. Nelson, K. M. Scow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

126 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spatial and temporal variations in sediment microbial community structure in a eutrophic lake polluted with inorganic mercury were identified using polar lipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. Microbial community structure was strongly related to mercury methylation potential, sediment organic carbon content, and lake location. Pore water sulfate, total mercury concentrations, and organic matter C/N ratios showed no relationships with microbial community structure. Seasonal changes and changes potentially attributable to temperature regulation of bacterial membranes were detectable but were less important influences on sediment PLFA composition than were differences due to lake sampling location. Analysis of biomarker PLFAs characteristic of Desulfobacter and Desulfovibrio groups of sulfate-reducing bacteria suggests that Desulfobacter-like organisms are important mercury methylators in the sediments, especially in the Lower Arm of Clear Lake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1479-1488
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume66
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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