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

Monday, 24 April 2017

UCA_C2_1: Day 1 - Our Winogradsky column

Hi! We are Irene, Raúl and Nieves. We are studying Biotechnology in Cádiz and we want to show and explain you how we prepares our Winogradsky column. On later posts, we will see some changes due to the growth of many microorganisms.
Our column is made of:

  • Rio San Pedro sediment (mud and sand)
  • 0,23 g sugar
  • 0,02 g filter paper
  • 0,40 g CaSO4
We have decided to add sugar and filter paper in order to give microorganisms a carbon source to do fermentation. They will release some waste products that will be used by another microorganisms to do anaerobic breathing, so they could use CaSO4 (sulphate source) to break down into H2S. This sulphide will be used too by another ones, and so on.
We think that our column is a gradient of O2 and H2S, so we will appreciate different types of microorganisms (aerobic and anaerobic ones) distinguished by colours. At the top of the column, where there is a lot of O2, aerobic microorganisms will grow. Whenever we descend to the bottom, the amount of H2S increases and O2 disappear, so it favours anaerobic microorganisms growth.
We haven't taken photos of the column the first day, but we will see the evolution on the next posts.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

UCA_4A_Entrada 1: 1º day

Hi there! We are Elena, Pepi and Marta and we are going to explain how we did our column in the lab. First of all, we mixed  20,9 g of mud with some seawater until we had an homogenean mixture. Then, we added :
- 0,41 g of CaSO4 because it is a source of sulfur for  aminoacids. SO42-  + M.O  à  CO2 + H2S-
- 0,21 g of NaCl because we want halophilic bacteria to grow.
- 0,58 g of CaCOso autotrophic bacteria can grow.
- 0,31 g of C12H22O11, which is a common carbon natural source and also allows heterotrophic microorganisms to grow.
- 0,22 g of cellulose, another carbon natural source that also allows heterotrophic microorganisms to grow.
- 0,1 g of agar, a polysaccharide  that attatches cells.
Now we introduced the mixture in our test tube.
After that, we measured 30 g of mud and we mixed it with 90 g of sand, and we added this new mixture to the test tube too.
We also added a bit of seawater at the top of the test tube and left it in the lab for one week.
The results we expect to get is a concentration gradient that shows the different types of microorganisms that grows in our Winogradsky Column.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Winogradski Column. First post

Hello we are David , Diego and Malena, we are Biotechnology students. We have prepared a Winogradsky column and we are going to show the changes that have been produced. 
The Winogradsky column is a microorganism cultivating resource. The base components we use are :
- Sand 75 gr.
-Mud 25 gr.
-Thin layer of sea water 
This components are the same for every columns. Moreover we decided to add :
-0.13 gr of sugar as a carbon source
-0.10 gr of calcium sulfate as a sulfur source
- 0.09 gr of  yeast to produce fermentation.At the bottom of the column there is no oxygen, so it will be a different  source of organic matter,for example , lactic acid.
We will try to make a gradient of O2 at the top and H2S at the bottom so that both aerobic and anaerobic organism can grow.
Our hypothesis is that heterotroph organism will grow because of the external carbon addition and also sulfur fixative bacteria because of the sulfur source.

Friday, 21 April 2017

UCA_5B_2: Day 15 (Germán López Toledo & Miguel Bruzón Lobatón)

Fifteen days after we created our Winogradsky Column, it has have a lot of changes. At first place, we could see a big bubble of methane (that it is a proof of our excess of carbon and sulphate). We had to take a stike to go down the mud which was over the bubble.

Other new on our column was that, in the upper part, has formed a pink section where there are an opaque liquid with little sediments.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Winogradsky blog, First post, group B7.

          In this post, we are going to explain our theories about the experiment that we have done in microbiology. This experiment is called “Winogradsky column”, his name came from first scientist that realized it.
           Our column was filled up with portions of natural mud, sand, and sea water. These are the column’s principal elements, but we need to add more nutrients for bacterial growth.   We need to create an oxygen gradient. In the bottom of the column there aren’t any oxygen (only sulphates SO42-), and in the top the oxygen concentration is equal to the atmospheric.

         In order to create this gradient, we putted several nutrients to feed diferent kinds of bacterias. It is use to occasion a microecosystem where there are many food chains.
The nutrients we added were:

  • -FeSO4 (to give a sulphate source, and a ferrum source).
  • -Cellulose (to give a source of carbón hidrates that some kind of bacterias can use).
  • -NaCl  (to equilibrate column’s osmotic pressure).
  • -CaSO4, Chalk (in order to give a calcium and sulphate souce).
  • -Yeast extract (it is use to nutrient source).

          Amount nutrients can change according to microorganism’s needs. It preferably utilize a low concentation of those because our Winogradsky column can take a long time to flourish o it can lead to methane wall cavities.

Figure 1: Methane wall cavities.
Figure 2: Winogradsky column. Photo taken after one week.

Saturday, 8 April 2017


Hello!! We are Andrea, Alessia and Victoria. We are students of biotechnology in Cádiz and we will show you the changes that we see in our column of Winogradsky.

Rio San Pedro sediment + CaSO4

We have decided to add only CaSO4 to see which microorganisms can live in these conditions.
Firstly, we have mixed CaSO4 with sea water and San Pedro River mud. This mixture has been added to a transparent tube which has been exposed to solar light for some weeks.

After a week, we can see that the column has a different color. This is because the organisms have begun to grow at the bottom of the tube. These organisms are anaerobic so they do not need oxygen to grow, they use the sulfate we had added.

After three weeks, we see how more organisms have grown near the surface. These organisms need other conditions to grow. They need oxygen in addition to sunlight. On the surface have grown filaments that look like “hairs”.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

UCA_E5-6MICRO: First day.

Hi! We are Anabel, Paco, Irene, Misael and Gabriel students of Enology. We will show you our experiment of Winogradsky column during this quarter.

To prepare our Winogradsky’s column we have chosen supply carbon with extract of yeast due to it is an excellent way to get nutrients like vitamins and amino acids. We have weighed 1,4g.
Later we have weighed 40g of mud and 0,6g of Na2SO4 which is the substrate to growth of sulphate reducing bacterias.
The mud and Na2SO4 are mixed with extract of yeast and they are divided in two columns.
Then we weighed 180g of sand and 60g of mud, then mixed and divided in columns. One column was put in the dark and the other one was put in natural light.
What we expect is that there is stablished oxygen gradient and an interdependence in the columns between different micro-organisms included in the columns.
In the zone below at columns micro-organisms that develop fermentatives process should grow producing alcohol and fatty acids like subproducts of their metabolism. This products are substrates for the development of sulphate reducing bacterias. This bacterias liberate sulphide that spread to the oxygenated higher zone creating a gradient where photosynthetic bacterias that use sulphur are developed.
Finally, the cianobacterias and algae grow in the higher zone and they liberate oxygen that keep this zone aerobic.
We haven't taken photos of our column in this first state, but later we will upload some of them.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

UCA_5B_1: Day 1 (Germán López Toledo & Miguel Bruzón Lobatón)

We are first-year students of Biotechnology in Cádiz, and we will write three post about our Winogradsky Column.

The first day, we created our column with: 20 g of Río San Pedro´s mud, a little bit of water from the same place and 0´3 g of NaCl. Furthemore, we added 1 g of CaSO4 as a source of sulphate for anaerobic breathing and, as a carbon source, we added 1,6 g of Agar, 0´3 g of cellulose and 0´8 g of CaCO3. Finally, we added 20 g of sand and a little bit more of mud.

We think we have added too much of carbon source.

In the next post we will tell the changes in our Winogradsky Column.

Monday, 3 April 2017

UCA_3A_1: Day 1 - What's about our column?

Hi! We are María, Cristina and Ara, students of biotechnology. We will show you our experiment of Winogradsky column during this quarter.

In our column, we add 20 g of mud from Rio San Pedro. We have focused on the production of halophilic bacteria, that is to say that our bacteria will grow in a very high percentage of salt. Exactly, we add 1,2 g of NaCl. Moreover, we add 0,3 g of CaSO4 as a sulphate source and 0,3 g of cellulose (paper) as a carbon source for our bacteria. Finally, we add 30 g of mud more, 22 g of sand and 1.99 g of NaCl more (we have put a lot of mud and just a bit of sand). We wait some months to be able to see our results!
We haven't taken photos of our column in its first state, but later we will upload some of them.

Saturday, 18 February 2017



Team 9: Katerina Mironaki
             Levidiotis Charalampos

Hello everyone!
       Inevitably our semester long project comes to an end. We tried to delay our entry in hopes of having clearer and more definitive results. So without further ado, these are some pictures of our columns about 17 weeks from the beginning of the experiment. 
       Thankfully the results followed our prior assumptions a discernable growth spurt of microbes in the second column much sooner than the first one as well a more intense coloration of the column. “        
       By comparing the two columns someone can easily observe the advanced growth state that characterizes the second one. From the intense coloration of the water to the early appearance of the colonies of purple sulfur bacteria the second column kept surprising us. Day after day, week after week new things started to make their appearance (new colonies of microbes formed speckles and strips, the sediment began enriching, the bottle swelling etc). Some of these new “findings” cowardly appeared in the first column but with a notable delay in time.
       In the end we can say that we are pleased with our results but we needed more time(a pity that semesters aren't longer...not really). Nevertheless we learned a lot of things and had quite some fun during these months.

 Everyone, thanks and good luck with your own projects!   

                                                          Column 1



                                                              Column 2

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Tzani Kalliopi
Mavridi Olga
University of Ioannina Greece
Biological Application & Technology

WEEK: 8th
Left: Winogradsky column with egg
Middle: Winogradsky column with garlic
Right: Winogradsky column with egg & garlic 

The hypothesis stated was confirmed; we observed differentiation between the three bottles in microorganisms’ development. Specifically, in the bottle with the egg as a sulfur source, we saw green sulfur bacteria characterized by a green/olive colored zone, and red-purple sulfur bacteria growing. We also saw the formation of biofilm. In the bottle with garlic as a sulfur source, we saw green sulfur bacteria and red-purple sulfur. However, we also observed the formation of FeS. Also, the water was easier to observe, since there was little to none biofilm, and we saw the growth of a plant. Finally, in the third bottle, which had both egg and garlic, we saw green sulfur bacteria, red-purple sulfur bacteria, and purple non-sulfur bacteria characterized by a red/ orange or rust colored zone. Again, in the water, there was no biofilm formation, and it had a high cyanobacterial growth.
Hello fellow winobloggers! We are Kalliopi Tzani & Olga Mavridi, under graduate students in the field of Biological Applications & Technology in the University of Ioannina. In terms of a class/ curriculum concerning aquatic microorganisms, we were assigned to make a Winogradsky column. For this purpose, we placed lake soil and lake water, from the Vrelis’s lake, into three bottles in a ratio 2:1. Each bottle contained lake soil and newspaper as source of cellulose. The bottles, however, contained different sources of Sulfur. In the first one, we added an egg, with its pod. The second one contained garlic & the third one contained both of these sources of sulfur (egg & garlic). Our bottles were closed, as to not exchange gasses like oxygen, with the environment, and they were placed in a sunny room. We observed them in a weekly base and we stated the following hypothesis: if there will be a differentiation between the 3 bottles concerning microorganisms’ development.
Vrelis's pond

Winogradsky column with egg & garlic (t=0)

Winogradsky column with garlic (t=0)

Winogradsky column with egg (t=0)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

WEEK: 2nd
LEFT: ¾ sediment-enrichment materials and lake water
RIGHT: ¼ sediment-enrichment materials, 2/4 sediment and lake water

On the left column, we observed that the aquatic phase got a dark green colour because of the growth of  green sulpur bacteria, such as chlorobium. Those microorganisms gain energy from light reactions and produce their cellular materials from CO2 in much the same way as plants do. However, there is one essential difference, they do not generate oxygen during photosynthesis because they do not use water as the reductant, instead, they use H2S. We also noticed a black line on the sediment’s surface which provides the existence of black sulphur-reducing bacteria such as clostridium and desulfovibrio. They use sulphate or other partly oxidised forms of sulphur as the terminal electron acceptor, generating large amounts of H2S by this process. The H2S react with any iron in the sediment, producing black ferrous sulphide. This is why lake sediments are frequently black. However, some of the H2S diffuses upwards into the water column, where it is utilised by other organisms (e.g green sulpur bacteria).
On the other hand, on the right column, we observed just a light green colour in the aquatic phase which could be a proof for the existence of Algae and Photosynthetic cyanobacteria(those microorganisms contains chlorophyll a and performs oxygenic photosynthesis).
From those indications we accepted the first hypothesis that microorganisms in the left bottle grew up faster than the right one.

WEEK: 3rd – 4rth
LEFT: ¾ sediment-enrichment materials and lake water
RIGHT: ¼ sediment-enrichment materials, 2/4 sediment and lake water

Our columns had no big difference between the 3rd and 4th week so we took just one photo.
The left turned purple  because of the growth of purple sulphur bacteria. These bacteria grow in anaerobic conditions, gaining their energy from light reactions but using organic acids as their carbon source for cellular synthesis. So they are termed photoheterotrophs. The organic acids that they use are the fermentation products of other anaerobic bacteria (e.g. Clostridium species). On the right one, aquatic phase turned dark green because of the green sulphur bacteria. No difference was observed in the sediment in both columns.

WEEK: 5th
LEFT: ¾ sediment-enrichment materials and lake water
RIGHT: ¼ sediment-enrichment materials, 2/4 sediment and lake water

Both of our columns got darker and so swelled that they could not remain in an upright position. When we tried to open them, bubbles started to emerge, which is a proof of the existence and the increase in the amount of methanogens. Except the methanogens, there might have been some other obligatory anaerobic bacteria at the bottom, such as Clostridium or Desulfovibrio. Then, Desulfovibrio respire using these compounds to reduce the sulfate from the eggs. These processes quickly deplete any remaining of O2 at the bottom of the column. Desulfovibrio release Hydrogen-Sulfide as a byproduct of said sulfate reduction. This causes a concentration gradient in the column between O2 and H2S (Higher O2 at top). On the left bottle, in the aquatic anaerobic phase, grew up both green and purple photosynthetic sulphur bacteria. On the other hand,the right bottle got a purple-red colour because of the sulphur or non sulphur  photosynthetic bacteria (such as Rhodomicrobium). These bacteria use the Ethanol which produced from the clostridium as a photosynthetic reducer.

WEEK: 6th
LEFT: ¾ sediment-enrichment materials and lake water
RIGHT: ¼ sediment-enrichment materials, 2/4 sediment and lake water

Six weeks later the column with the excess of enrichment materials (left one) got even darker in both sediment and aquatic phase. Microorganisms such as black sulphur-reducing  bacteria (in the sediment phase) and green sulphur bacteria (in the aquatic phase) continue growing up. In the right column, the aquatic phase got an orange-red colour because of the purple sulphur or non sulphur bacteria. Moreover, that colour could probably indicate cyanobacteria, who lost their chlorophylls and turned orange. No difference observed in the sediment phase in that column.

WEEK: 7th
LEFT: ¾ sediment-enrichment materials and lake water
RIGHT: ¼ sediment-enrichment materials, 2/4 sediment and lake water

The last week, in the sediment phase, in both of our columns developed some white bacteria ( basically colourless bacteria), which use sulphate as the terminal electron acceptor, generating large amounts of H2S by this process. Those microorganisms grow up in completely anaerobic conditions. Furthermore, both of our columns in aquatic phase turned green-orange because of the green and purple sulphur bacteria. Finally, in the left column,  grew up something like moss plants in the aquatic phase and biofilm in both columns.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Winogradsky’s Column


Team 7: Serasidis Konstantinos, Tsinoglou Makrina
Weeks: 5-7

During these three weeks there weren't observed any significant differences between the columns. However, between these weeks and the 4th week a main difference has been noticed in the Control column. The color of the water in the column appears to have green- brown color. In contrary with the 4th week the water had bright orange color. This difference is probably caused by the growth of cyanobacteria. Cyanoabcteria have oxygen-evolving photosynthesis like that of plants. Once the cyanobacteria start to grow they can oxygenate most of the water. So, the conditions in the water became aerobic and the purple non sulfur bacteria that need anaerobic conditions and are responsible for the orange color can’t grow anymore. That’s why the color in the water turned from orange to green after a few weeks.

The 7th week is the last week of Winogradsky’s columns growth. The experiment ended successfully and our hypothesis was confirmed. Our hypothesis was that in conditions that light is absence the growth of phototrophic bacteria will be absence too. The results have showed that clearly, as green and orange color that indicates the growth of phototrophic bacteria was present in the Control column and absence in column in the dark.

2.Column in the dark 

1. Control column