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Extremely halophilic microbial communities in anaerobic sediments from a solar saltern.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ana Suarez Suarez


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The prokaryotic communities inhabiting hypersaline sediments underlying a crystallizer pond of a Mediterranean solar saltern have been studied in a polyphasic approach including 16S rRNA and dsrAB gene libraries analysis [the last encoding for dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase], most probable number of cultivable counts, and metabolic measurements of sulfate reduction. The samples studied here represent one of the most hypersaline anoxic environments sampled worldwide that harbour a highly diverse microbial community different from those previously reported in other hypersaline sediments. Both bacterial and archaeal types are present but, contrarily to the overlying brine system, the former dominates. Molecular analyses indicated that the bacterial fraction is highly diverse and mostly composed by groups related to sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). In good agreement with this, sulfate-reducing activity was detected in the sediment, as well as the metabolic diversity within SRB (as indicated by the use of different electron donors in enrichments). On the other hand, the archaeal fraction was phylogenetically homogeneous and, surprisingly, strongly affiliated with the MBSl-1 candidate division, an euryarchaeotal group only reported in deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basins of the Western Mediterranean, for which a methanogenic metabolism was hypothesized. The hypersaline studied samples constitute a valuable source of new prokaryotic types with metabolisms adapted to the prevalent in situ extreme conditions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): López-López A, Yarza P, Richter M, Suárez-Suárez A, Antón J, Niemann H, Rosselló-Móra R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Microbiology Reports

Year: 2010

Volume: 2

Issue: 2

Pages: 258-271

ISSN (electronic): 1758-2229

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2009.00108.x


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