Articles | Volume 14, issue 10
Research article
31 May 2017
Research article |  | 31 May 2017

Functional diversity of microbial communities in pristine aquifers inferred by PLFA- and sequencing-based approaches

Valérie F. Schwab, Martina Herrmann, Vanessa-Nina Roth, Gerd Gleixner, Robert Lehmann, Georg Pohnert, Susan Trumbore, Kirsten Küsel, and Kai U. Totsche

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Cited articles

Akob, D. M. and Küsel, K.: Where microorganisms meet rocks in the Earth's Critical Zone, Biogeosciences, 8, 3531–3543,, 2011.
American Public Health Association: Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater: selected analytical methods approved and cited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1981.
Arrieta, L. and Grez, R.: Solubilization of iron-containing minerals by soil microorganisms, Appl. Microbiol., 22, 487–490, 1971.
Arts, M. T., Ackman, R. G., and Holub, B. J.: “Essential fatty acids” in aquatic ecosystems: a crucial link between diet and human health and evolution, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 58, 122–137,, 2001.
Bååth, E. and Anderson, T.-H.: Comparison of soil fungal/bacterial ratios in a pH gradient using physiological and PLFA-based techniques, Soil Biol. Biochem., 35, 955–963,, 2003.
Short summary
We used phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) to link specific microbial markers to the spatio-temporal changes of groundwater physico-chemistry. PLFA-based functional groups were directly supported by DNA/RNA results. O2 resulted in increased eukaryotic biomass and abundance of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria but impeded anammox, sulphate-reducing and iron-reducing bacteria. Our study demonstrates the power of PLFA-based approaches to study the nature and activity of microorganisms in pristine aquifers.
Final-revised paper