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Sample records for chromatium

  1. Biosynthetic mechanism of glycolate in Chromatium, 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asami, Sumio; Takabe, Tetsuo; Akazawa, Takashi

    1977-01-01

    The metabolic transformation of glycolate to glycine occurring in photosynthesizing cells of Chromatium was investigated by the radioisotopic technique and by amino acid analysis. By analyzing the distribution of radiocarbon upon feeding (1- 14 C) glycolate, (2- 14 C) glyoxylate and (1- 14 C) glycine to bacterial cells, it was demonstrated that glycolate is converted to glycine via glyoxylate, and both glycolate and glycine are excreted extracellularly. Although the formation of serine was barely detected by the above two techniques in both N 2 and O 2 atmospheres, it was found that 14 CO 2 is evolved quite markedly from both (1- 14 C) glycolate and (1- 14 C) glycine fed to the Chromatium cells. Analytical results of transient changes in amino acid compositions under atmospheric changes of N 2 →O 2 and by the addition of exogenous glycolate in N 2 confirm the notion that glycolate is converted to glycine. Acidic amino acids (glutamic acid and aspartic acid) appear to take part in glycine formation as amino donors. The formation of glycine from glycolate in a N 2 atmosphere suggests that an unknown glycolate dehydrogenation reaction may operate in the overall process. (auth.)

  2. Biosynthetic mechanism of glycolate in Chromatium, (3)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asami, Sumio; Akazawa, Takashi

    1976-01-01

    The effects of α-hydroxy-2-pyridinemethanesulfonate (α-HPMS), 2,3-epoxypropionate(glycidate), and cyanide on the photosynthetic activity of Chromatium were investigated. The α-HPMS stimulated the photosynthetic CO 2 fixation in the bacterial cells in both N 2 and O 2 environments. The formation and subsequent excretion of both glycolate and glycine in the O 2 atmosphere were markedly enhanced by the HPMS. In contrast to the recent report that glycidate especially inhibits the glycolate formation in tabacco leaf disks, the authors found that it had no influence on the CO 2 fixation by Chromatium in either N 2 or O 2 atmosphere, and that the synthesis and extracellular excretion of glycolate were markedly stimulated by glycidate treatment. The cyanide (0.01 - 1mM) exerted some marked inhibitory effect on the photosynthetic CO 2 fixation in N 2 . In O 2 atmosphere, the photosynthesis was stimulated by the 0.01 mM cyanide, and inhibited by it above this level. Both the incorporation of 14 CO 2 into glycolate and the total synthesis of glycolate in light were also enhanced by the 0.01 mM cyanide, and strongly inhibited above that concentration. (J.P.N.)

  3. Isotope effects associated with the anaerobic oxidation of sulfide by the purple photosynthetic bacterium, Chromatium vinosum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fry, B.; Gest, H.; Hayes, J.M.

    1984-01-01

    Small inverse isotope effects of 1-3 per thousand were consistently observed for the oxidation of sulfide to elemental sulfur during anaerobic photometabolism by Chromatium vinosum. The inverse fractionation can be accounted for by an equilibrium isotope effect between H 2 S and HS - , and may indicate that C. vinosum (and other photosynthetic bacteria) utilizes H 2 S rather than HS - as the substrate during sulfide oxidation. (Auth.)

  4. Growth inhibition of Chromatium D by L-methionine and its correlation to unusual accumulation of S-adenosyl-L-methionine in the cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sugimoto, Y; Nakatani, K; Shirakashi, T; Ohmori, H; Toraya, T [Kyoto Univ. (Japan). Faculty of Engineering

    1976-07-01

    L-Methionine strongly inhibited the growth of Chromatium D when added at a low concentration to the growth medium containing both sulfide and thiosulfate. S-Adenosyl-L-methionine inhibited the growth, irrespective of the coexistence of sulfide and thiosulfate. Upon addition of L-methionine to the growth media, the presence of both sulfide and thiosulfate in the media stimulated the in vivo conversion of L-methionine to S-adenosyl-L-methionine, and consequently increased the intracellular level of S-adenosyl-L-methionine. From these data, it was strongly suggested that the unusual accumulation of S-adenosyl-L-methionine in the cells of Chromatium D is responsible for the growth inhibition by L-methionine. The level of S-adenosyl-L-methionine synthetase (ATP: L-methionine S-adenosyltransferase, EC2.5.16) was significantly enhanced by adding L-methionine, sulfide and thiosulfate to the growth medium.

  5. Carbon monoxide and cyanide as intrinsic ligands to iron in the active site of [NiFe]-hydrogenases. NiFe(CN)2CO, biology's way to activate H2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, A.J.; Roseboom, W.; Happe, R.P.; Bagley, K.A.; Albracht, S.P.J.

    1999-01-01

    Infrared-spectroscopic studies on the [NiFe]-hydrogenase of Chromatium vinosum-enriched in 15N or 13C, as well as chemical analyses, show that this enzyme contains three non-exchangeable, intrinsic, diatomic molecules as ligands to the active site, one carbon monoxide molecule and two cyanide

  6. Carbon isotope fractionation by thermophilic phototrophic sulfur bacteria: evidence for autotrophic growth in natural populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madigan, M. T.; Takigiku, R.; Lee, R. G.; Gest, H.; Hayes, J. M.

    1989-01-01

    Purple phototrophic bacteria of the genus Chromatium can grow as either photoautotrophs or photoheterotrophs. To determine the growth mode of the thermophilic Chromatium species, Chromatium tepidum, under in situ conditions, we have examined the carbon isotope fractionation patterns in laboratory cultures of this organism and in mats of C. tepidum which develop in sulfide thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park. Isotopic analysis (13C/12C) of total carbon, carotenoid pigments, and bacteriochlorophyll from photoautotrophically grown cultures of C. tepidum yielded 13C fractionation factors near -20%. Cells of C. tepidum grown on excess acetate, wherein synthesis of the Calvin cycle enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase) was greatly repressed, were isotopically heavier, fractionation factors of ca. -7% being observed. Fractionation factors determined by isotopic analyses of cells and pigment fractions of natural populations of C. tepidum growing in three different sulfide thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park were approximately -20%, indicating that this purple sulfur bacterium grows as a photoautotroph in nature.

  7. Lanthanide behavior in hypersaline evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico - an environment with halophiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choumiline, K.; López-Cortés, A.; Grajeda-Muñoz, M.; Shumilin, E.; Sapozhnikov, D.

    2013-12-01

    Lanthanides are known, in some cases, to be sensitive to changes in water column or sediment chemistry, a fact that allows them to be used as environmental fingerprints. Nevertheless, the behavior of these elements in hypersaline environments is insufficiently understood, especially in those colonized by bacteria, archaea and eukarya halophiles. Extreme environments like the mentioned exist in the artificially-controlled ponds of the 'Exportadora de Sal' salt-producing enterprise located in Guerrero Negro (Baja California, Mexico). Sediment cores from various ponds were collected, subsampled and measured by ICP-MS and INAA. This allowed differencing the behavior of lanthanides and trace elements under a water column salinity gradient along the evaporation sequence of ponds. Sediment profiles (30 mm long), obtained in Pond 5, dominated by Ca and Mg precipitation and at the same time rich in organic matter due to bacterial mat presence, showed highs and lows of the shale-normalized patterns along different in-core depths. Two groups of elements could be distinguished with similar trends: set A (La, Ce, Pr and Nd) and set B (Sm, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu). The first 'group A' had two prominent peaks at 15 mm and around 22 mm, whereas the 'group B' showed only slight increase at 15 mm and none at 22 mm. Microscopic analyses of prokaryotic cells of a stratified mat in Pond 5 (collected in 2004) showed filamentous bacteria and cyanobacteria with a cell abundance and morphotype richness maxima of prokaryotic cells in a chemocline from 3 mm to 7 mm depth which co-exists nine morphotypes of aerobic and anaerobic prokaryotes Microcoleus chthonoplastes, Leptolyngbya, Cyanothece, Geitlerinema, Spirulina, Chloroflexus, Beggiatoa, Chromatium and Thioploca. Below the 7 mm depth, oxygenic photosynthesis depletes and sulfur reducing compounds increase. The highs of the shale-normalized lanthanide contents of the 'group A' (at 15 mm depth) seem to correlate with the

  8. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the peripheral light-harvesting complex LH2 from Marichromatium purpuratum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cranston, Laura J; Roszak, Aleksander W; Cogdell, Richard J

    2014-06-01

    LH2 from the purple photosynthetic bacterium Marichromatium (formerly known as Chromatium) purpuratum is an integral membrane pigment-protein complex that is involved in harvesting light energy and transferring it to the LH1-RC `core' complex. The purified LH2 complex was crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method at 294 K. The crystals diffracted to a resolution of 6 Å using synchrotron radiation and belonged to the tetragonal space group I4, with unit-cell parameters a=b=109.36, c=80.45 Å. The data appeared to be twinned, producing apparent diffraction symmetry I422. The tetragonal symmetry of the unit cell and diffraction for the crystals of the LH2 complex from this species reveal that this complex is an octamer.

  9. Application of Moessbauer spectroscopy for: (1) characterization of Egyptian Maghara coal; (2) evaluating the efficiency of different methods for coal desulphurization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eissa, N.A.; Sheta, N.H.; Ahmed, M.A.

    1992-01-01

    Coal has been recently discovered in Maghara mine at Northern Sinai, Egypt. Coal samples have been collected from different depths and were measured by XRD, XRF, and MS, in order to characterize this type of coal. It has been found that the iron bearing minerals are mainly pyrite and different sulphates depending on the depth of the sample. The second part contains the application of desulphurization techniques to Egyptian coal which are: floatation (one step and two steps), chemical [(HCl+HNO 3 ), and Fe 2 (SO 4 ) 3 ] and bacterial methods (Chromatium and Chlorobium species). The efficiency of each technique was calculated. A comparative discussion is given of each desulphurization method, from which the bacterial method has proved to be the most efficient one. (orig.)

  10. Bioavailability of a potato chromium complex to the laboratory rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilbert, H.K.

    1985-01-01

    Research objectives were to study the effect of food source, preparation method and chemical form on bioavailability of chromium. Chromium concentration in potatoes was determined and tubers labeled either intrinsically or extrinsically with radioactive chromate. A labeled chromium complexes was isolated from preparations of raw, baked or fried potatoes and chromatographed on gel permeation media. Availability of the potato chromium complex to the rat was examined in three feeding studies. Animals were dosed with radioactive extrinsically or intrinsically labeled potato extract or with chromate. A labeled chromium complex was isolated from gastrointestinal contents of rats and chromatographed. Potato pulp and peel contained 1.63 and 2.70 μg Cr/g tissue respectively. True and apparent absorption from extrinsically labeled feedings were 33.4 +/- 4.7 and 29.8 +/- 11.2% respectively, and no differences existed between absorption from raw and cooked potatoes. Absorption from the extrinsic labeled potatoes differed significantly from absorption of inorganic chromatium. Apparent absorption of raw (11.1 +/- 7.9%) and cooked (-0.7 +/- 2.8%) intrinsically labeled feedings differed significantly. Absorption of inorganic chromium was 17.8% (true) and 11.5% (apparent). Examination of the chromium complex isolated from gastrointestinal tract contents showed enlargement of the complex in the stomach after consumption

  11. Structural studies on reaction centers from thermophilic photosynthetic bacteria and its functional utilizations. Tainetsusei kogosei saikin ni yuraisuru kogosei hanno chushin no kozo kaimei to kino kaihatsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nozawa, T; Morishita, Y; Kobayashi, M; Kanno, S [Tohoku University, Sendai (Japan). Faculty of Engineering

    1992-10-31

    This paper describes the results of the experiment in which crystallization of protein of reactive center purified from the photosynthetic film of thermophilic purple sulfur photosynthetic bacterium Chromatium tepidum whose hyrogen donor in photosynthesis is H2S instead of H2O was attempted. Crystallization was carried out by the vapor diffusion method and particularly by using ethylene glycol as precipitator at 4[degree]C after various investigations on the conditions of crystallization. By X-ray diffraction, this crystal was found to belong to the rhombic system, and it was estimated that the lattice constants, a, b, c equal to 140[angstrom], 190[angstrom] and 80[angstrom] respectively. This bacterium is a thermophilic bacterium having the optimum growth temperature of 48-50 [degree]C and utilizes CO2 or H2CO3 as corbon source, ammonium, urea etc. as nitrogen source and thiosulfate as sulfur source. Moreover, another purpose of this investigation was to determine the thermophilic location by elucidating its configuration (although, as a result, the analysis of configuration had no sufficient resolution). It was confirmed that the enzyme system of photosynthetic film and its cytoplasm obtained by ultrasonic spallation of this cell have CO2 fixing activity utilizing light energy. 23 refs., 14 figs., 3 tabs.

  12. Influence of environmental factors on growth and pigment synthesis by purple thiobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. О. Pavlova

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The influence of different environmental factors on growth and pigment biosynthesis by particular strains of purple thiobacteria was investigated. These strains belong to the genus Chromatium, Thiocystis, Thiocapsa and Lamprocystis and were isolated from Yavoriv sulphur mine. Calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and sodium chloride should be included in the medium for optimal growth of these bacteria. Addition of these elements entails increasing the biomass production and synthesis of carotenoids and bacteriochlorophyll a. Initial concentration of inoculum and electron donor has essential influence on growth of purple thiobacteria. Early in the development of culture, sulphide was oxidized, and then the growth impairment and destruction of cells under exposure of light were observed. For the optimization of bacteria growth the electron donor (sulphide must be added many times during the cultivation process in the concentration, which is not exceed an inhibition dose. The additional bringing of the electron donor in the medium promotes the raise of cells’ biomass. The acetate introduction in the medium has positive influence on the pigments’ biosynthesis. The essential factor of growth and pigments’ biosynthesis is the light intensity. Peak gain of the culture growth was observed under 400 lx. The amplification of light exposure is accompanied by the decrease of growth and content of pigments in cells. Oxygen inhibits the synthesis of pigments in all strains

  13. Elementary Energy Transfer Pathways in Allochromatium vinosum Photosynthetic Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lüer, Larry; Carey, Anne-Marie; Henry, Sarah; Maiuri, Margherita; Hacking, Kirsty; Polli, Dario; Cerullo, Giulio; Cogdell, Richard J.

    2015-11-01

    Allochromatium vinosum (formerly Chromatium vinosum) purple bacteria are known to adapt their light-harvesting strategy during growth according to environmental factors such as temperature and average light intensity. Under low light illumination or low ambient temperature conditions, most of the LH2 complexes in the photosynthetic membranes form a B820 exciton with reduced spectral overlap with LH1. To elucidate the reason for this light and temperature adaptation of the LH2 electronic structure, we performed broadband femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy as a function of excitation wavelength in A. vinosum membranes. A target analysis of the acquired data yielded individual rate constants for all relevant elementary energy transfer (ET) processes. We found that the ET dynamics in high-light-grown membranes was well described by a homogeneous model, with forward and backward rate constants independent of the pump wavelength. Thus, the overall B800→B850→B890→ Reaction Center ET cascade is well described by simple triexponential kinetics. In the low-light-grown membranes, we found that the elementary backward transfer rate constant from B890 to B820 was strongly reduced compared with the corresponding constant from B890 to B850 in high-light-grown samples. The ET dynamics of low-light-grown membranes was strongly dependent on the pump wavelength, clearly showing that the excitation memory is not lost throughout the exciton lifetime. The observed pump energy dependence of the forward and backward ET rate constants suggests exciton diffusion via B850→ B850 transfer steps, making the overall ET dynamics nonexponential. Our results show that disorder plays a crucial role in our understanding of low-light adaptation in A. vinosum.

  14. Elementary Energy Transfer Pathways in Allochromatium vinosum Photosynthetic Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüer, Larry; Carey, Anne-Marie; Henry, Sarah; Maiuri, Margherita; Hacking, Kirsty; Polli, Dario; Cerullo, Giulio; Cogdell, Richard J

    2015-11-03

    Allochromatium vinosum (formerly Chromatium vinosum) purple bacteria are known to adapt their light-harvesting strategy during growth according to environmental factors such as temperature and average light intensity. Under low light illumination or low ambient temperature conditions, most of the LH2 complexes in the photosynthetic membranes form a B820 exciton with reduced spectral overlap with LH1. To elucidate the reason for this light and temperature adaptation of the LH2 electronic structure, we performed broadband femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy as a function of excitation wavelength in A. vinosum membranes. A target analysis of the acquired data yielded individual rate constants for all relevant elementary energy transfer (ET) processes. We found that the ET dynamics in high-light-grown membranes was well described by a homogeneous model, with forward and backward rate constants independent of the pump wavelength. Thus, the overall B800→B850→B890→ Reaction Center ET cascade is well described by simple triexponential kinetics. In the low-light-grown membranes, we found that the elementary backward transfer rate constant from B890 to B820 was strongly reduced compared with the corresponding constant from B890 to B850 in high-light-grown samples. The ET dynamics of low-light-grown membranes was strongly dependent on the pump wavelength, clearly showing that the excitation memory is not lost throughout the exciton lifetime. The observed pump energy dependence of the forward and backward ET rate constants suggests exciton diffusion via B850→ B850 transfer steps, making the overall ET dynamics nonexponential. Our results show that disorder plays a crucial role in our understanding of low-light adaptation in A. vinosum. Copyright © 2015 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The evolution of glutathione metabolism in phototrophic microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahey, R. C.; Buschbacher, R. M.; Newton, G. L.

    1987-01-01

    Of the many roles ascribed to glutathione (GSH) the one most clearly established is its role in the protection of higher eucaryotes against oxygen toxicity through destruction of thiol-reactive oxygen byproducts. If this is the primary function of GSH then GSH metabolism should have evolved during or after the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. That many bacteria do not produce GSH is consistent with this view. In the present study we have examined the low-molecular-weight thiol composition of a variety of phototrophic microorganisms to ascertain how evolution of GSH production is related to evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. Cells were extracted in the presence of monobromobimane (mBBr) to convert thiols to fluorescent derivatives, which were analyzed by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Significant levels of GSH were not found in the green bacteria (Chlorobium thiosulfatophilum and Chloroflexus aurantiacus). Substantial levels of GSH were present in the purple bacteria (Chromatium vinosum, Rhodospirillum rubrum, Rhodobacter sphaeroides, and Rhodocyclus gelatinosa), the cyanobacteria [Anacystis nidulans, Microcoleus chthonoplastes S.G., Nostoc muscorum, Oscillatoria amphigranulata, Oscillatoria limnetica, Oscillatoria sp. (Stinky Spring, Utah), Oscillatoria terebriformis, Plectonema boryanum, and Synechococcus lividus], and eucaryotic algae (Chlorella pyrenoidsa, Chlorella vulgaris, Euglena gracilis, Scenedesmus obliquus, and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii). Other thiols measured included cysteine, gamma-glutamylcysteine, thiosulfate, coenzyme A, and sulfide; several unidentified thiols were also detected. Many of the organisms examined also exhibited a marked ability to reduce mBBr to syn-(methyl,methyl)bimane, an ability that was quenched by treatment with 2-pyridyl disulfide or 5,5'-bisdithio-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) prior to reaction with mBBr. These observations indicate the presence of a reducing system capable of electron transfer to mBBr and reduction of

  16. Physiology and genetics of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, C G

    1998-01-01

    in thiosulfate oxidation of Paracoccus denitrificans. Adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate reductase thought to function in the 'reverse' direction in different phototrophic and chemotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria was analysed in Chromatium vinosum. Inactivation of the corresponding gene does not affect the sulfite-oxidizing ability of the mutant. This result questions the concept of its 'reverse' function, generally accepted for over three decades.

  17. NMR of proteins (4Fe-4S): structural properties and intramolecular electron transfer; RMN de proteines (4Fe-4S): proprietes structurales et transfert electronique intramoleculaire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huber, J G

    1996-10-17

    NMR started to be applied to Fe-S proteins in the seventies. Its use has recently been enlarged as the problems arising from the paramagnetic polymetallic clusters ware overcome. Applications to [4Fe-4S] are presented herein. The information derived thereof deepens the understanding of the redox properties of these proteins which play a central role in the metabolism of bacterial cells. The secondary structure elements and the overall folding of Chromatium vinosum ferredoxin (Cv Fd) in solution have been established by NMR. The unique features of this sequence have been shown to fold as an {alpha} helix at the C-terminus and as a loop between two cysteines ligand of one cluster: these two parts localize in close proximity from one another. The interaction between nuclear and electronic spins is a source of additional structural information for (4Fe-AS] proteins. The conformation of the cysteine-ligands, as revealed by the Fe-(S{sub {gamma}}-C{sub {beta}}-H{sub {beta}})Cys dihedral angles, is related to the chemical shifts of the signals associated with the protons of these residues. The longitudinal relaxation times of the protons depend on their distance to the cluster. A quantitative relationship has been established and used to show that the solution structure of the high-potential ferredoxin from Cv differs significantly from the crystal structure around Phe-48. Both parameters (chemical shifts and longitudinal relaxation times) give also insight into the electronic and magnetic properties of the [4Fe-4S] clusters. The rate of intramolecular electron transfer between the two [4FE-4S] clusters of ferredoxins has been measured by NMR. It is far slower in the case of Cv Fd than for shorter ferredoxins. The difference may be associated with changes in the magnetic and/or electronic properties of one cluster. The strong paramagnetism of the [4Fe-4S] clusters, which originally limited the applicability of NMR to proteins containing these cofactors, has been proven

  18. NMR of proteins (4Fe-4S): structural properties and intramolecular electron transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huber, J.G.

    1996-01-01

    NMR started to be applied to Fe-S proteins in the seventies. Its use has recently been enlarged as the problems arising from the paramagnetic polymetallic clusters ware overcome. Applications to [4Fe-4S] are presented herein. The information derived thereof deepens the understanding of the redox properties of these proteins which play a central role in the metabolism of bacterial cells. The secondary structure elements and the overall folding of Chromatium vinosum ferredoxin (Cv Fd) in solution have been established by NMR. The unique features of this sequence have been shown to fold as an α helix at the C-terminus and as a loop between two cysteines ligand of one cluster: these two parts localize in close proximity from one another. The interaction between nuclear and electronic spins is a source of additional structural information for (4Fe-AS] proteins. The conformation of the cysteine-ligands, as revealed by the Fe-(S γ -C β -H β )Cys dihedral angles, is related to the chemical shifts of the signals associated with the protons of these residues. The longitudinal relaxation times of the protons depend on their distance to the cluster. A quantitative relationship has been established and used to show that the solution structure of the high-potential ferredoxin from Cv differs significantly from the crystal structure around Phe-48. Both parameters (chemical shifts and longitudinal relaxation times) give also insight into the electronic and magnetic properties of the [4Fe-4S] clusters. The rate of intramolecular electron transfer between the two [4FE-4S] clusters of ferredoxins has been measured by NMR. It is far slower in the case of Cv Fd than for shorter ferredoxins. The difference may be associated with changes in the magnetic and/or electronic properties of one cluster. The strong paramagnetism of the [4Fe-4S] clusters, which originally limited the applicability of NMR to proteins containing these cofactors, has been proven instrumental in affording new

  19. Tapetes microbianos del Salar de Llamará, norte de Chile Microbial mats from the Llamará salt flat, northern Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CECILIA DEMERGASSO

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available Se estudiaron las comunidades estratificadas de microorganismos fotosintéticos que se encuentran en el Salar de Llamará ubicado en el desierto de Atacama, norte de Chile, mediante métodos microscópicos y espectrofotométricos. El espesor de la zona fótica de los tapetes descritos varió entre 8 y 30 mm lo cual podría atribuirse a la granulometría y la composición mineralógica de los sedimentos. Se diferencian tres tipos de tapetes. El primero con una única capa pigmentada de color verde; el segundo con capas de colores verde y naranja y un tercero en el que se observa, además de las capas verde y naranja, una de color púrpura. En uno de los sitios muestreados no se encontraron capas pigmentadas. Debajo de la zona pigmentada el sedimento es de color blanco, excepto en uno de los sectores donde se observó una coloración negra atribuible a sulfuro de hierro. Los microorganismos predominantes de la capa naranja fueron diatomeas y cianobacterias unicelulares principalmente de los grupos Cyanothece y Synechococcus. Las cianobacterias filamentosas Microccoleus sp. y Oscillatoria sp. fueron las más abundantes en la capa verde. No se observaron diatomeas en los sitios estudiados donde la salinidad del agua intersticial osciló entre 12 y 33 %. En la capa verde de estos sitios predominaron las cianobacterias cocoides, de los grupos Synechococcus, Cyanothece y Gloeocapsa y del género Gloeobacter, sobre las cianobacterias filamentosas. La capa púrpura estuvo compuesta principalmente por bacterias fototróficas anoxigénicas similares a células de los géneros Chromatium y Thiocapsa. Los espectros de absorción revelaron que la clorofila a es el pigmento más abundante en la mayoría de las muestras analizadas. Los valores integrados de clorofila a y bacterioclorofila a alcanzaron 230 y 144 mg m-2 en el espesor de la zona pigmentada, respectivamente. También se detectaron abundantes microorganismos no fotosintéticos en los tapetes