Microbial diversity associated with the anaerobic sediments of a soda lake (Mono Lake, California, USA)

Rojas, P., Rodríguez, N., De la Fuente, V., Sánchez Mata, D., Amils, R., Sánz, J. L. 2018. Microbial diversity associated with the anaerobic sediments of a soda lake (Mono Lake, California, USA). Canadian Journal of Microbiology 64, 6, 385-392 DOI: 10.1139/cjm-2017-0657

Soda lakes are inhabited by important haloalkaliphilic microbial communities that are well adapted to these extreme characteristics. The surface waters of the haloalkaline Mono Lake (California, USA) are alkaline but, in contrast to its bottom waters, do not present high salinity. We have studied the microbiota present in the shoreline sediments of Mono Lake using next-generation sequencing techniques. The statistical indexes showed that Bacteria had a higher richness, diversity, and evenness than Archaea. Seventeen phyla and 8 «candidate divisions» were identified among the Bacteria, with a predominance of the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Among the Proteobacteria, there was a notable presence of Rhodoplanes and a high diversity of sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria, in accordance with the high sulfate-reducing activity detected in soda lakes. Numerous families of bacterial fermenters were identified among the Firmicutes. The Bacteroides were represented by several environmental groups that have not yet been isolated. Since final organic matter in anaerobic environments with high sulfate contents is mineralized mainly by sulfate-reducing bacteria, very little methanogenic archaeal biodiversity was detected. Only 2 genera, Methanocalculus and Methanosarcina, were retrieved. The species similarities described indicate that a significant number of the operational taxonomic units identified may represent new species.

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