Winogradsky column lab page!

Welcome to the Winogradsky column lab page! Students from the Departments of Biological Applications and Technology, University of Ioannina and Icthyology and Aquatic Environment, University of Thessaly, Greece and the Microbiology course, Faculty of Sciences, University of Cádiz, Spain, discuss their findings on Winogradsky columns they constructed!

If you want to add a post, please feel free to contact the blog administrators (Hera Karayanni, Sokratis Papaspyrou or Kostas Kormas)!

Καλωσορίσατε στη σελίδα των Winobloggers! Διαδικτυακός τόπος συνάντησης φοιτητών, φοιτητριών και διδασκόντων δύο Τμημάτων από την Ελλάδα: Tμήμα Βιολογικών Εφαρμογών και Τεχνολογιών, Παν/μιο Ιωαννίνων και Τμήμα Γεωπονίας, Ιχθυολογίας και Υδάτινου Περιβάλλοντος, Παν/μιο Θεσσαλίας και ενός από την Ισπανία: Σχολή Θετικών Επιστημών, Πανεπιστήμιο του Cadiz. Παρακολουθούμε, σχολιάζουμε, ρωτάμε, απαντάμε σχετικά με τα πειράματά μας, τις στήλες Winogradsky!

Bienvenidos a la pagina web de los Winobloggers! Aquí los estudiantes y profesores de dos departamentos griegos, el Departamento de Aplicaciones y Tecnologías Biológicas de la Universidad de Ioannina y el Departmento de Agricultura, Ictiología y Sistemas Acuáticos de la Universidad de Thessalia, junto con los estudiantes de Microbiología de la Facultad de Ciencias en la Universidad de Cádiz, se reúnen para observar, comentar, preguntar y responder a preguntas relacionadas con nuestro experimento, la columna Winogradsky.

Winogradksy columns

Winogradksy columns
'In the field of observation, chance only favors the prepared mind' Pasteur 1854

Blog posts

Sunday, 20 May 2018

UCA_7B,8B_1: Day 44

Winogradsky column- Day 44

Group 7B (Lucas Garín Ortega and Alba Mejías Gallardo)
Group 8B (Laura Lucena del Amo and Noelia Moares Fernández)

After 44 days, we have checked our columns and we have observed a few changes.
The column made by group 8B, the one exposed to sunlight, didn't have a lot of changes. We could see that the layer of  lighter color previously seen was bigger than before, that means that there were more photoautrophic microorganisms. Also, we could appreciate that there were more bubbles, formed by the sugar fermentation of microorganisms chemoheterotrophs.

Group 8B column

The column made by group 7B, the one kept in the dark, has suffered the following changes. We could appreciate that the column was darker due to the H2S breathing of bacteria. The water on the surface has cleared and an orange layer has formed on the surface. This could be because of the proliferation of photoorganoheterotroph microorganisms. Last but not least, a lighter spot has been formed from a bubble generated by microorganisms breathing.
Group 7B column


A few weeks after the preparation of the column, we observed both of them, and we noticed some changes.
The C3 group’s column presents the following characteristics:
  • The orange spots are photoheterotrophic microorganisms, which use as power source the solar energy, and reduced iron.
  • At the surface, we could find green algae and cyanobacteria, since they need oxygen to perform the cellular respiration and sunlight to make the photosynthesis.
  • Along the column, we could find tiny white spots, which can be elementary sulfate.
  • We could also see small bubbles, which can be due to the fermentation of the chemoheterotrophic micoorganisms.
  • We can appreaciate along the column some black spots, which are more intense at the bottom of it. They are due to the anaerobic microorganisms, being stronger as the oxygen gradient decreases.

The C4 group’s column differs from the C3’s in the following characteristics. The rest of the microorganisms are the same as the other one.
  • We can find along the coloumn oxidizing bacteria.
  • The photoheterotrophic microorganisms of the column use as carbon source the cellulose of paper, and as power source the sunlight.
  • It doesn’t present white spots since it didn’t contain sulfate.
  • The orange spots are bigger, because of the cellulose that the paper provided.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

UCA_A1, A2: Day 44

In our Winogradsky Column we can see a lot of colours that correspond to very different kind of microrganisms. On the top we can see a big green stripe, that corresponds to algas and heterotrophic bacteria. Under this stripe there is a little orange bubble and we suppose that corresponds to an iron oxidizing bacteria. Under that we can see  amounts of scattered red purple colour, a part localized just under this bubble and another part almost in the bottom of the column. The part wich is localized just under the bubble corresponds to non-sulfure bacteria and the other part corresponds to sulfure bacteria.

Alga obtains energy and carbon by doing photosyntesis  using the light energy and the water. Iron oxidizing bacterias use Fe2+ and CO2.  Non-sulfure bacterias use organic carbon and light energy. Sulfure bacterias use H2S, light energy and CO2 that produced from the CaCO3. The CaCO3 and the water were introduced in the column and the iron can be contained in the mud. We also must remember that microorganisms that grow on the top have more oxygen and less sulfure and the microorganisms which are in the bottom have less oxygen and more sulfure.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

UCA_4B, 6B_1: Day 44

44 days have passed since we last checked our Winogradsky columns. In the column without sugar we can observe that some black sediments have appeared. That indicates the presence of anaerobic microorganisms (as sulfate-reducing bacteria) which produce H2S from CaSO4 (that served its purpose as a sulfur source). This compound finally reacts with the iron present in the sediment of Rio San Pedro, producing FeS, known for its black color. What's more, there's still some water remaining in this column. 

As the columns were placed in the dark we can’t notice the presence of photosynthetic microorganisms in neither of them.

​On the other hand, in the column with sugar we observe that the same anaerobic microorganisms that appeared in the column without sugar have appeared in this one too. 

Furthermore, we can see that some type of fermentation has happened (due to the fact that the water we found in the previous column has been pushed out, likely because of an excessive emission of gasses, such as CO2), and we could in theory be able to determine its kind. In order to distinguish between lactic and alcoholic fermentation, we should have conducted some analytical experiments that we couldn't afford to do. Despite not knowing exactly what kind of fermentation it was, we can definitely confirm our hypothesis: if there are yeasts in Rio San Pedro (which has been proven to be right), in presence of sugar they'll undergo fermentative processes. 

Thus, we can conclude the experiment was successful and our hypothesis was accurate too.

We've already tested and confirmed our initial hypothesis, so for now on the columns will be placed in the light for further observations. We expect to find some photosynthetic microorganisms that may (or may not) benefit from the increased growth rate found in the column where we placed 4 g of sugar (no more, no less). Considering the enormous emissions of 
CO2 (coming from either fermentation or cellular respiration) in the sugar column, we believe this could help photosynthetic microorganisms proliferate, which capture and reduce CO2 in order to grow, as shown in the following animation.

Hence, we estimate a greater growth rate of photosynthetic organisms in the sugar column, compared to the control one (that has no sugar at all).

Friday, 27 April 2018


Tube in darkness
We can see that there's air due to the fact that there was too much sustrat and microorganisms have produced CH4 .
In this column all is dark, it has anaerobic bacteriums.

Tube in light
We can see that in the surface, the tube has turned to light brown due to the presence of aerobic bacteriums.

When we compared both columns, we can see that only in the light column has appeared an extract light brown. Therefore, we deduce that the microorganisms that have grown there, are photosyntetic.

 Darkness                                                                                                           Light

Tuesday, 24 April 2018


San Pedro's River sediment + 0.3 g paper + 0.1 g CaSO4

Group 3B: Alvaro Lucero Garófano and José Luis Hernández Fernández.
Group 4B: Paula Gilabert Prieto and Pilar Grosso Rodríguez.

Did you miss us? No problem, we are back again to show you the evolution of  ours Winogradsky's columns after 44 days 

We can appreciate several changes in both columns.

The column 3B, which was in contact with the light has developed different changes.

Firsly, all bacterias which has grown in the column are photosyntetic bacterias due to the fact that they are in contact with light. Then we can classify this bacterias in two groups.
Aerobic bacterias and anaerobic bacterias.
The aerobics bacterias are on the top of the column because all the oxygen of the column are on the top. 
Also we must emphasize that there are a gradient of oxygen in the column, and the more it descends in the column, the less oxygen are in it. The bacterias which are at the bottom maybe can use the sulphate as the last one who accepts electrons. So this is the reason why has grown bacterias in a different colour at the bottom.

The surface which has been in contact with light is lighter than those surface which has not been in contact with it. 

The column 4B, which was in the darkness has developed some changes.

First of all, we can see that  there are a gradrient of oxygen in the column again, so at the bottom has grown anaerboic bacterias.
the difference with the other column is that in this one has grown chemosyntetic organisms, so the colour of this column is darker than the other one. 

Finally, Ours firts ideas of what could happen, are being succesful with our result




Monday, 23 April 2018

UCA_5A_6A_7A: Day 44 Winogradsky column´s evolution after a month

Winogradsky column´s evolution after a month:

We are back again, and now, we are going to show the changes in our columns:

5A Winogradsky Column:

The group 5A let his Winogradsky column in an illuminated environment, and after one month, we can observe that there is a colour variation at the top of the test tube because it has acquired a red tonality in the liquid part. The solid part doesn't have colouring. It is quite reasonable, since we put a lot of N and S sources into the tube, therefore, there are a lot of anaerobic bacterias, which are responsible of the colour variation. Since the amount of anaerobic organisms is incredibly big, there aren't any kind of  aerobic organisms in our test tube.

6A Winogradsky Column:

The group 6A let his Winogradsky column in a dark environment, and after approximately 30 days, the column is a little bit darker. But it continues with a little brown part at the bottom, we think it's because there aren't too many nutrients, or it will be because in that zone has grown another variety of bacteria. Throughout the column we can observe various black points and it could be accumulations of bacteria.

7A Winogradsky Column:

The group 7A let his Winogradsky column in an illuminated environment. We have observed changes after a month. The side of the column, in which the light does not reach, has a grey colour produced by anaerobic bacterias. Also, the column has a red colour in the middle. We think it may be produced by aerobic bacterias, which produce a substance with this colour. Secondly, we noticed more bubbles produced with the CH4 that bacterias expel out. Finally, we conclude with a general development of aerobic and anaerobic bacterias through the column along this month, in a way that we expected.

6A Winogradsky Column

7A Winogradsky Column

5A Winogradsky Column

Monday, 19 March 2018

UCA_3C, 4C_1: Day 1. Column’s preparation.

- 20 g of Rio San Pedro’s sediment.
- Destilled water/sea water (group 4) and sea water (group 3).
- 0,3 grammes of filter paper (both groups)
- 0,1 grammes of CaSO4 and 0,3 grammes of SO4- (group 3)
- 100 grammes of sand.
The objective of this experiment is to recognise the different microorganisms depending on their metabolism, nutrition, etc. For that, we choose the nutrients and environment of the column depending on the microorganisms that we want to benefit.
We add 20 grammes of Rio san pedro’s sediment in a plastic recipient. With the purpose of getting it viscous, we mix it with some water. Each group add their chosen products (paper, sulfate…), and we keep mixing and adding water until necessary. We achieve a thick mass that we can get into the tube with the help of a funnel. Then we hit it softly so the sediment will go down on the tube, and the trapped bubbles go away. We mark the tube to indicate the level of the preparation, so we know where the nutrients are.
We prepare another mix with 20 grammes of sediment, 100 grammes of sand and some water, and we put it into the tube. On the top of the column, we add some more water (2 cm).
We think that , in the column with only filter paper, are going to grow the chemoorganoheterotroph organisms, and, in the other hand, in the column with sulfate, are going to grow the chemolithoheterotroph organisms.

UCA_8B,7B_Day 8

Winnogradsky column - Day 8

Group B8(Laura Lucena Del Amo, Noelia Moares Fernández)
GroupB7(Pablo Lucas Ezequiel Garin Ortega, Alba Mejías Gallardo)

We are back one week later to discuss about the changes that we have observed in both columns, the column exposed to sunlight (B8) and the column kept in darkness in which we added glucose (B7).

In the column exposed to sunlight (B8), which had Rio San Pedro sediment + 0.3 g paper + 0.1 g CaSO4, we find these characteristics:

  • The column is darker in the bottom, with black sediments. This probably is caused by the FeS precipitate, produced by anaerobic microorganisms from Fe (provided by the Rio San Pedro sediment) and SO4 (from the CaSO4). 
  • The top of the tube is much lighter than the bottom, due to the proliferation of photoautotroph microorganisms. These organisms produce O2, which helps keeping a gradient of oxygen.
  • Because of this gradient of oxygen aerobic microorganisms will grow close to the top of the column and anaerobic microorganisms will grow in the bottom.
  • There are a few of little bubbles in the column, they may be bubbles of N2 (from the sediment) as well as bubbles of H2S (mostly in the bottom).
  • The main difference observed this week is that we can perceive two different sides of the tube in the middle:

  1. One side lighter ( with an orange hue), this is the side exposed to sunlight. The explanation of this phenomenon is based in the fact that there might have proliferated photoorganoheterotrophic bacteria in the medium.
  2. The other side is darker, the same that we observed last week. There might be chemoorganoheterotroph microorganisms.
While in the B7 tube, kept in darkness (absence of light) and in which we added Rio San Pedro sediment + 0.3 g paper + 0.1 g CaSO4 + glucose, we find these changes:

  • This week's column is way darker than the last one due to the breathing of the H2S reacting with Fe2+ and obtaining HFe, which gives the black tone. This reaction is produced by anaerobic microorganisms. The Fe2+ comes from the sediment of San Pedro river, and the H2S is caused by the fermentation of present sugar in the column.
  • Many small bubbles appear, we think that these bubbles are formed by CO2 and CH4 probably due to the fermentation of the chemo-heterotrophs microorganisms.
  • The main difference observed this week is:

  1. There aren´t accumulation of fumes and it has been generated a layer of dirty water on the top. In this water seems to have been suspended micro-organisms, although it may also be sediment of San Pedro river.

Friday, 16 March 2018


In the A2 group's winogradsky column we added agar, yeast extract and skimmed milk powder. All this apart from the basic components: mud, sand, celullose and CaCO4.
We put this column to light. We have to see the differences between this column and the A1 group's column which have different components and is put to light too.

About column A2 we expect the appereance of  microorganisms able to demean lactose.