ARPHA Conference Abstracts : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Composition of diatom communities on travertine barriers of the Una River (Bosnia and Herzegovina) obtained by DNA metabarcoding and morphological analysis
expand article infoJasmina Kamberović, Marija Gligora Udovič§, Maria Kahlert|, Kálmán Tapolczai, Zorana Lukić, Adisa Ahmić, Anita Dedić#, Antonija Kulaš§, Katarina Kajan¤,«, Jasna Hanjalić»,˄, Lejla Lasić˄,», Belma Kalamujic Stroil»,˄
‡ University of Tuzla, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Urfeta Vejzagića 4, 75 000 Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
§ University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Rooseveltov trg 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
| Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
¶ University of Pannonia, Center for Natural Science, Research Group of Limnology, Egyetem u. 10., H-8200, Veszprém, Hungary
# University of Mostar, Faculty of Science and Education, Department of Biology, Matice hrvatske bb, B&H-88000 Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
¤ Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička cesta 54, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
« Center of Excellence for Science and Technology Integrating Mediterranean Region (STIM), HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
» University of Sarajevo-Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Zmaja od Bosne 8 Kampus, 71 000, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
˄ Society for Genetic Conservation of B&H Endemic and Autochthonous Resources, Zmaja od Bosne 8 Kampus, 71 000, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Open Access


The process of travertine formation and carbonate deposition in the rivers is unique, delicate, and depends on the activity of algae and mosses. Although diatoms have been used extensively in hydrobiological studies, the comparative analysis data on diatom communities of the travertine barriers in karstic rivers are still scarce.

The study aimed to detect the diatom composition on travertine barriers in the Una River, the large karstic river in Bosnia and Herzegovina. An integrated classical morphological identification approach with metabarcoding was applied on eight samples across the river length profile. Morphological analyses were performed using both light and scanning electron microscopes. Subsequent DNA metabarcoding of the chloroplastic gene 312bp rbcL was done. The DADA2 pipeline was used for the bioinformatic treatment of the demultiplexed MiSeq reads to infer Amplicon Sequence Variants (ASVs). ASVs were taxonomically assigned using the Diat.barcode v7 reference database.

A total of 126 species were identified using the morphological approach, while 133 ASVs were taxonomically assigned to 58 unique taxa with the molecular approach. Diatom community structures in terms of molecular and morphological approaches were congruent with 49 shared species. Species from genera Gomphonema, Navicula and Encyonema were less assigned in molecular analysis.

The most abundant taxa in the Una River are alkaliphilous, belonging to the genera Gomphonema, Nitzshia and Navicula. Although specific for their extremely good chemical status, the travertine barriers of the Una River are largely inhabited with meso-eutraphentic taxa.


diatoms, travertine, biodiversity, morphological approach, metabarcoding, rbcL, Una River

Presenting author

Jasmina Kamberović

Presented at

1st DNAQUA International Conference (March 9-11, 2021)

Funding program

The conference announcement is the result of the STMS under the EU COST Action CA15219 DNAqua-Net: Preparation of the pilot project proposal on metabarcoding and morphological identification to assess diatom diversity in poorly explored Dinaric rivers hosted at SLU University in Sweden. The realization of the project activities is funded by Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (project Pilot project of identification of benthic diatoms of the Una River using DNA metabarcoding), and by Federal Ministry of Education and Science of Bosnia and Herzegovina (project Application of diatoms indices in the assessment of the ecological status of the Una River).