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

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Winogradsky Column Evolution (Group A)

Winogradsky Column After three weeks (Group A)

The column that has been in contact with sunlight has created two levels inside the column. The upper level has been pushed and raised to the top because of the gases that the microorganisms of the lower level have caused. The upper level has a clearer color and contrasts with the other level. The color is grayish brown, probably due to the death of microorganisms at this level. On the other hand, a layer of gases has been created, as we have already said. This layer with the small amount of water in the upper level causes oxygen to pass to the lower level. For this reason, microorganisms that function without oxygen can not be developed.
We have lowered the upper level and removed the gas layer, we also introduced some water.
We see in the inferior level diverse colors, purple, brown, orange and the characteristic black that has been intensified enormously.

Let's talk about the column that has been kept in the dark. No major changes are seen in the column. The colors have been maintained. The column has been compacted a little by the top, the cracks have disappeared. The same amount of water is maintained at the top and from time to time there are bubbles there are bubbles that rise from the end of the column, gases generated by microorganisms.

Winogradsky Column After one week (Group A)

In the picture we can not see to many differences between both columns.
We think that the black color in both columns are from the combination of iron and sulfur.

On the other hand, we think that they look similar because the column that is in the sunlight doesn’t need it as energy source. 


The left picture is the column in darkness and the right picture is the column exposed to the light.

Winogradsky Column First Week (Group A)

Winogradsky column is a mechanism that allows the crop of microorganisms. The objetive is to be able to differenciate some communities of microorganisms. For that, we are going to preparate two columns, one of them will be in the darkness and the other one will be in the sunlight.
Our columns have 20.15 g of mud, some of CaCO3 (this is for enrich living organism autotrophs), CaSO4 (this produces energy), glucose (it is a food and energy source), and agar (this can resists to some microorganisms, that’s why not every microorganisms are going to use it). Finally, we are going to put some salt water, mix it and distribute our mixture into two columns.

Then we are going to add more salt water and we will put one of them in the darkness and the other one in the sunlight. 

Final post: ''Results of a Winogradsky column''. Group A4.

In this post we are going to discuss the evolution of the column in the fifth (the last) week,
The surface is more green compairing with the fourth week, due to the growth of microalgae and cianobacteria (aerobic photosinthetic). Furthermore in this part of the column there are more bubbles because there is more oxygen than the previous week.
In the middle of the column the pink is more intense because the anaerobic photosintetic bacteria have been producing more sulphure. For that reason when we hit the column in the table the smell is worse than the last week.
The part of the column that is reached by the sunlight has a brown colour while the otherside is black, due to the presence of heterotrophic bacteria which oxidate iron, in the brown part.
To sum up, comparing with the prediction in the first post we can conclude thet,
1. Halophilic bacteria haven't appeared apparently.
2.Cianobacteria (autotrophic bacteria) have grown in the surface of our column, as we expected.
3.Heterotrophic microorganisms have appeared too (they oxidate iron).
4.Microorganisms which can assimilate the sulfur have appeared.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

UCA_C2_2 - The process of our column

 A week after developing our Winogradsky column, we can start seeing important and different changes. First of all, fermenting cellulose bacterias have grown (corresponding to the black colour of the background). These bacterias might be the Clostridium genre. We can also see some grey parts due to sulphate reducting bacterias.
In the aerobic area, the top of the column, seaweeds may have grown so that they could produce oxygen after doing photosynthesis with the light the column receive everyday (the column is next to a window). This fact could be an explication to the bubbles we see at the top.
In the middle of the column there is no remarkable change. Here you have some photos to see all these changes and to follow better the evolution of our column.
Irene, Raúl and Nieves

Monday, 22 May 2017


Hi! We are Sara and Kenia.

We are biotechnology students at Cadiz Science university. We are going to explain how our Winogradsky column develops. Our goal is to create two gradients (one of them is H2S and the another one is of O2) where different microorganisms will grow.

We have added 30,1 g of mud from Rio San Pedro to our column and we have mixed it with 0,1 g of CaSO4. This mix is TO crEate a gradient of SO4.

After that, we have added 0,1 g of NaHCO3 thaT produces CO2 : if the microorganisms are autotroph, they will make their own nutrients from inorganic carbon.
We have also added 0,1 g of cellulose so these microorganisms can feed themselves, because cellulose is a polymer of glucose .
 we have put all of them in a cristal tube.

Finally, we have put our column near the window, so the microorganisms can catch the sunlight and take advantage of it.

We will see the evolution of the column during a few months, so we will show you photos of our winogradsky column along the time.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

                                                         SECOND POST

Hello! It´s been six weeks since we prepared our column and now it´s time to talk about the changes we have seen. Here we have some photos.

As we can see, at the bottom of the column it has appeared a black colour joined with a pink colour. We suppose that in this area there is not oxygen, so we can find microorganisms which are able to make fermentative processes.

The waste of these microorganims is used by bacteria that reduce the sulphate. The result of this process is the liberation of sulphides. It goes to the top of the column which is oxygenated by cyanobacteria and algae.

Also, there are photosynthetic bacteria that use the sulphur we can find in the column due to the sulphide gradient.

                                                                                          Victoria, Andrea, Alessia.

UCA_E7-8_2: 6th week.


Rio San Pedro sediment + 0,3 g NaCl + 0,3 K3PO4 + 0,4 g sugar + 0,4 g CaSO4

Several weeks after the Winogradsky column was made, many appreciable changes were observed in each column. 

In this image, you can see the different areas of each column after about six weeks of its completion.

In the column on the left, which was exposed to sunlight, there are four areas where different microorganisms have intervened, whereas in the right column, which was devoid of light, has three distinct areas. These changes are due to the action of different bacteria in each area of the column.

Column exposed to light.

This column is characterized by the presence of light, so the bacteria are photosynthetic.
The lower zone is characterized by being anaerobic and fermenting, but without oxygen. This fermentation transforms the organic matter into sulfur as a gas (H2S normally). This gas decreases as we move through the column to higher areas. In this zone, the bacteria transform the sulfur present in CaSO2 and transform it into H2S. This area usually presents a black color and occupies much of the column.
As we rise in the column, the hydrogen sulphide from the bottom is consumed by anaerobic bacteria that reduces the present sulfur. This area has a black color and also occupies a large area of the column.
The brown area has the presence of sulfur and oxygen. This zone is aerobic because diverse bacteria oxidize the sulfur coming from inferior zones. Sulphates appear in this zone.
At the top of the column is the aerobic zone, where there is a higher concentration of oxygen. For this reason, bacteria that inhabits aquatic environments appear. This area is rich in organic matter and is the smallest area of the column.

Column not exposed to light.

This column presents bacteria that do not use sunlight for their evolution, that is, they are chemosynthetic. In the areas of the column there are many similarities to those mentioned above in the previous column.
The lower zone is also similar, where the organic matter is transformed by the bacteria into sulfur, obtaining a great amount of that element.
Next is the largest area of this column, coloured black, where bacteria that uses all the sulfur from the bottom appears. Consequently, there is no intermediate zone in which the sulfur is oxygenated. This area is anaerobic.
The top is aerobic and it is where bacteria transform oxygen. This area is very small compared to the other two.
Moving forward in time, more changes will be seen in the column, as well as bacteria continuing to grow.

Ana García Ramos, Carlota Borne Bernal, Ernesto Segundo Mendoza, Maria del Carmen Espinosa Corona and Pablo Carrasco Ercilla.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017



Rio San Pedro sediment + 0,3 g NaCl + 0,3 K3PO4 + 0,4 g sugar + 0,4 g CaSO4

The purpose of this practice is to observe the color change and the increase of microorganisms over time in a medium created by ourselves with the reactives elements mentioned above.

We introduce the same mixture of the same quantity into two different tubes. One of them will be exposed to light and the other will not.

Then, we will explain why we have added each of the aforementioned compounds:

  • The sucrose is added to bring carbon to the medium as every living thing needs a source from which it can obtain it.
  • CaSO4 provides sulfur to the medium. It will allow energy-capturing bacteria to grow through the reduction of this.
  • With the addition of K3PO4 we are contributing with phosphorus to the medium, which is used by microorganisms for their metabolism and it is an essential macronutrient for the growth and development of living beings.
  • We added NaCl to have a more saline medium than we had originally, and thus favor the growth of halophilic bacteria.

In this image we can observe the state of our tubes immediately after the deposition of the mixture in them and therefore they present a homogeneous and compact color throughout the column.

The tube that is in contact with the sun has a different development than the one that is not.

Over time, we will see different colors and changes in our column due to the growth of microorganisms. These variations can be seen because each bacteria will grow under the conditions that are most favorable to them along the column.

Ana García Ramos, Carlota Borne Bernal, Ernesto Segundo Mendoza, Maria del Carmen Espinosa Corona and Pablo Carrasco Ercilla

Monday, 15 May 2017

Second post: The evolution of our Winogradsky column. Group A4.

In this post we will discuss the progress of our column during the last four weeks.

First week:
Four parts are distinguished:
At the bottom of the tube we can see bubbles which expands to the Surface . It seems like a volcano.
Due to the presence of an acumulation of organic material, the microorganisms make methanogenesis, althought this is one of the less efficient source of energy. This process produce the grey colour .
Above the grey colour, we can observe a black area where oxigen can´t access ,so the microorganisms who live there are anaerobic and instead of using this molecule they take the sulfate and release  sulfuric acid and carbon dioxide. The sulfuric acid reacts with iron producing iron sulfate, which is a black precipitate.
In the third zone, the orange and black colours are mixed . This part can be reached by oxigen , so microorganisms are aerobic and organoheterothophs. The orange colour is a consequence of the photosinthetic pigments.
In the last part, at the top of the column, there is some orange water without any algae but in the surface there is an oily liquid due to the bacteria.

                     Mostrando IMG_20170322_163246.jpg 
Second week:
This time, we can distinguish three parts:
The bottom of the tube has stayed grey, due to the methanogenesis, as the last week.
The orange liquid of the surface has not change neither.
The principal changes have occured in the black zone of the tube (at the middle). It has expanded, because of the acumulation of organic material.
At the surface of the  mud, a green colour has appeared which indicates presence of photosinthetic microalgae.
Third week:
The black zone of the bottom of the tube has not changed. However, in the middle of the tube a light pink colour has appeared, due to the presence of a special photosintetic bacteria. It assimilates sulphur and produce sulfate instead of oxigen.
At the surface, the orange colour is mixed with green and brown. As we said, the green colour has appeared because of the growth of photosinthetic microalgae.

                   Mostrando IMG-20170424-WA0011.jpg

Fourth week:
The major change is that the pink colour has become more intense and dark, because the bacteria has increased the concentration of sulfate.
At the same time, it has appeared bubbles at the surface because of the presence of oxigen produced by photosinthetic microalgae and cianobacteria.
The gas produced in the methanogenesis has created some breaks which we eliminated by hitting the table with the column.
The column was warm due to the biological activity and the solar heat.
In general, we have noticed a disgusting smell every week because of the excess of sulphur.

          Mostrando IMG-20170515-WA0016.jpg     Mostrando IMG-20170515-WA0020.jpg     Mostrando IMG-20170515-WA0017.jpg

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Winogradsky Column Day 0. Group A5

We added into the column:

- Pond mud: 24.7 g.
- Paper (5 pieces): 0.5 g aprox.
- Yeast: 0.4 g.
- Calcium carbonate: 0.3 g.
- Sea water.

The mud will be the medium of the column where the microorganism will grow. Each component will apport some nutrient for each kind of microorganism.

The paper will be used as the source of glucose by the chemotrophic microorganism but, at the same time, it will only permit to grow the microorganism that can digest the cellulose. The yeast offers a lot of nutrients due to its amount of amino acids. Litotrophic microorganism will grow using the calcium carbonate as the carbon source. It is a saline medium because of the sea water so only will grow microorganism that resist those conditions.

At the end, there will appear different layers. Each colour that appears in the column will mean the growth of different microorganism. At the bottom of the column, will grow anaerobic or facultative anaerobic microorganism. Also, the sun light will be used by autotrophic microorgnanism that synthesize glucose by photosynthesis (cianobacteria).

Thursday, 4 May 2017


Pond mud→ 20,81g
Yeast extract→ 0,1g
Sodium sulfate→ 0,4g
Calcium sulfate → 0,1g
Pieces of paper→ 0,1g

For our Winogradsky column we use pond mud as a culture medium. The yeast extract can  be used for microorganisms as a nutrient source because  it is high in  B vitamin, and it contains amino acids and other factors  that are ideal for their growth.In addition,  we have used sodium sulfate and calcium sulfate as a source of sulfur that will be used for the anaerobic microorganisms that grow at the bottom of our column in order to being able to accomplish their breathing process.Finally,we have added little pieces of paper that can be  used as a carbon source (cellulose) so the organisms can obtain  energy from the synthesis of glucose which is  required for their biological processes.

As a result of all this, we predict that there will be able to notice  a few layers.We will be able to find aerobic microorganisms as there is enough oxygen for them to use. Facultative anaerobic organisms will be found in the layers that are in between, and anaerobic organisms will be found in the deepest layer of our column.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Winoblog, Third post, group B7.

          This is the third post which we make about our “Winogradsky column”.
       By this time, the column has changed a lot. For example, microalgae have appeared in our column. To be more accurate, they have appeared in a water’s zone with oxygen.
           On the one hand, some gas bubbles have appeared in our column. That bubbles 
as a sign of metabolic activitiy. Cianobacteria produces oxygen using another componets of our “widnogradsky column”.

        On the other hand, stratification can be better appreciated. For example, under the water, there are a large area of ​​greenish gray. This is because microorganisms are growing up there, more specifically Beggiatoa is growing there.

         To sum up, we can se how the bio-system that we have created is becoming stable. Besides, we can appreciate differents strata that a couple of days before there werent there. 

Figure 1: Microalgae.
Figure 2: Photo taken 17th April.

UCA_3A_2: Day 48 - Our column in process.

In the first week, we can see a black colour at the bottom of the column. This is a result of sulphydric production. Besides, there is water in the top of the column, where we can find an orangey brown colour (this is the zone provided with oxygen).  Moreover, consequently to have added a lot of mud and just a bit of sand, there is a part in the middle of the column that is completely grey and homogenous, where gases can’t pass through it. Due to this point, we can guess that there will be two separated communities.

In the second week, we observe that the homogenous part has decreased. Besides, we see a black colour in the top of the mud (there are bacteria that feed of sulphate and produce sulphydric acid). In another hand, the brown community are bacteria that are able to use oxygen.

After two weeks, we focus on our column again. As a result of have added a lot of mud, the development of the microorganisms  is very slow. The continuous black colour indicate us that bacteria keep producing H2S. Now, there is an orange colour that is a signal of the existence of photoheterotrophs microorganisms producers of iron.  

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Winoblog, Second post, group B7.

            In this second post, we can appreciate a change in the colour of our “Winogradsky column”. The methane wall cavity has been deleted, because organic substance’s excess was consumed. Besides, is possible to see muddy water. 

            In addition, a rosy colour appears, because a microorganism like Chromatium uses CO2 and H2S to create organic molecules. On top of rosy stratum, we can see other stratum more light where we find Rhodomicrobium. Rhodomicrobium uses CO2 and organic acids to produce organic molecules.

             Finally, at the beginning of Winogradsky column, there is a space that has oxygen. This oxygen is utilized for filamentous microorganism like Beggiatoa, it produces sulfuric acid and organic molecules. Besides that, on wáter, photosynthetic mirobes make their work.

Figure 1: A rosy stratum.

Figure 2: Photo taken 31st March.

Figure 3: Space with oxygen.

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-  + O.M  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 been occurred  a lot of changes. Firstly, 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 in order to ease the gas exchange in the column. Excepting for this week, there was, at least, one a week. Bearing in mind the methane's bubble, when it was bursted, the surrounding's smell was the typical and awful one. Apart from this one, there was not anyone else. The whole black color is due to the excessive quantity of iron sulphate. This means a high level of anaerobic respiration.

Moreover, it has been formed a pink section where there are an opaque liquid with little sediments n the upper part. This is because of the metabolic activity of the microorganisms. This pink part appeared two weeks before the photograph was taken.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Winoblog, 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. It is formed by two differentiated parts, which have unique chemical composition.  This experiment is been taken place in order to realise how and where the various microbial species can have it vital cycle.

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.

We will tell the changes in our Winogradsky Column in the next post .

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.