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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Anion-type modulates the effect of salt stress on saline lake bacteria

Csitari, Bianka; Bedics, Anna; Felfoldi, Tamas; Boros, Emil; Nagy, Hajnalka; Mathe, Istvan; Szekely, Anna J.


Beside sodium chloride, inland saline aquatic systems often contain other anions than chloride such as hydrogen carbonate and sulfate. Our understanding of the biological effects of salt composition diversity is limited; therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effect of different anions on the growth of halophilic bacteria. Accordingly, the salt composition and concentration preference of 172 strains isolated from saline and soda lakes that differed in ionic composition was tested using media containing either carbonate, chloride or sulfate as anion in concentration values ranging from 0 to 0.40 mol/L. Differences in salt-type preference among bacterial strains were observed in relationship to the salt composition of the natural habitat they were isolated from indicating specific salt-type adaptation. Sodium carbonate represented the strongest selective force, while majority of strains was well-adapted to growth even at high concentrations of sodium sulfate. Salt preference was to some extent associated with taxonomy, although variations even within the same bacterial species were also identified. Our results suggest that the extent of the effect of dissolved salts in saline lakes is not limited to their concentration but the type of anion also substantially impacts the growth and survival of individual microorganisms.


Alkaline habitat; Bacterioplankton; Athalassic; Soda lake; Natronophiles; Salt stress

Published in

2022, volume: 26, number: 1, article number: 12

Authors' information

Csitari, Bianka
Uppsala University
Csitari, Bianka
Karolinska Institutet
Csitari, Bianka
Eotvos Lorand University
Bedics, Anna
Eotvos Lorand University
Felfoldi, Tamas
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Felfoldi, Tamas
Eotvos Lorand University
Boros, Emil
Centre for Ecological Research
Nagy, Hajnalka
Eotvos Lorand University
Mathe, Istvan
Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Uppsala University

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