Effect of water hyacinth on distribution of sulphate-reducing bacteria in sediments of Lake Victoria

  • Frederick J Muyodi
  • Mugassa ST Rubindamayugi
  • Adelaide K Semesi
Keywords: Acetate, Eichhornia crassipes, Formate, Hydrogen sulphide, Lactate, Methanogen, Sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB)


The effect of the water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms-Laub, on the distribution of populations of sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in sediments from various stations on the shores of Lake Victoria around Mwanza Municipality, Tanzania, was studied. Lactate-utilising SRB were observed to be the dominant species in sediments covered by the water hyacinth and at the Mirongo River mouth while acetate-utilising SRB dominated in the offshore open water sediments. Sediments from offshore open waters had the lowest most probable numbers (MPNs) for all the SRB types investigated, more than 100 times less that observed in areas covered by the water hyacinth and the Mirongo River mouth. Lactate-utilising SRB were almost absent in sediments from offshore open waters. A positive correlation between the total populations of SRB and nutrients in sediments was observed. Results showed that sulphate concentration was very high in sediments underneath the water hyacinth at the lakeshore but was minimal in sediments from offshore open waters. It is suggested that water hyacinth decomposition formed lactate, which supported large populations of lactate-utilising SRB.

WaterSA Vol.30 (3) 2004:421-425

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eISSN: 0378-4738