Biodiversity of prokaryotic communities in sediments of different sub-basins of the Venice lagoon

Sara Borin, Lorenzo Brusetti, Daniele Daffonchio, Eugenia Delaney, Franco Baldi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Microbial community structure and diversity in the wide and shallow Venice lagoon were assessed, prior to construction of mobile dams, at nine stations representative of four different sub-basins previously selected on the basis of international guidelines for sediment quality. The sediments were mainly anoxic and were colonized by microbial communities the species richness of which was quantitatively correlated with total elemental sulfur and acid-volatile sulfide. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis clustered the stations into three groups. One station for each group was hence analyzed in detail for bacterial and archaeal diversity by screening of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. The dominance of Gammaproteobacteria clones (84% with a high proportion of Vibrionaceae, indicator of urban pollution) determined significant divergence of the station adjacent to industrial and metropolitan areas. Bacteroidetes were widespread, especially where prairies of aquatic plants are located. The other two analyzed stations were dominated by bacterial taxa implicated in the sulfur cycle: the anoxygenic photosynthetic Chromatiales, sulfate- and sulfur-reducing Desulfobacterales and Desulfuromonadales, and members of the Alpha- and Epsilonproteobacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropogenic impact
  • Microbial communities
  • Sediments
  • Sulfur species
  • Venice lagoon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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