- Antarctic freshwater lake
- 16S rRNA
Schirmacher Oasis is one of the few ice-free plateaus in East Antarctica that maintains a unique distribution of over 120 microbial-rich, dynamic freshwater lakes, most of which are unexplored. In this study, we describe the bacterial diversity of the rock-water interface in Lake Tawani(P) using culture-independent Bacterial Tag Encoded FLX Amplicon Pyrosequencing (bTEFAP), clone library construction, and culture-based analysis targeting the eubacterial 16S rRNA gene. Lake Tawani(P)was formed in a fossil valley by the accumulation of snow and glacial melt through surface channels into a low-catchment depression. Overall this lake exhibited thirteen bacterial phyla and one-hundred and twelve genera. The Qiime bioinformatics analysis on the bTEFAP alone exhibited higher coverage of the bacterial composition in Lake Tawani(P) than the clone library construction or culture-based methodology. Particularly due to the higher sensitivity of the bTEFAP approach, we detected and differentiated members of the phyla: Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes, Planctomycetes, Nitrospira, and Candidate Division TM7 that other methods were unable to reveal. Nevertheless we found that the use of multiple approaches identified a more complete bacterial community than by using any single approach. Investigating the bacterial diversity of the Schirmacher Oasis lakes, especially those connected through surface channels and encompassed by valleys, will help unravel the dynamic nature of these unique seasonal, freshwater lakes, which potentially harbors highly adapted bacterial taxa with defined ecological functions.