Comparative analysis of yellow microbial communities growing on the walls of geographically distinct caves indicates a common core of microorganisms involved in their formation.
ABSTRACT Morphologically similar microbial communities that often form on the walls of geographically distinct limestone caves have not yet been comparatively studied. Here, we analysed phylotype distribution in yellow microbial community samples obtained from the walls of distinct caves located in Spain, Czech Republic and Slovenia. To infer the level of similarity in microbial community membership, we analysed inserts of 474 16S rRNA gene clones and compared those using statistical tools. The results show that the microbial communities under investigation are composed solely of Bacteria. The obtained phylotypes formed three distinct groups of operational taxonomic units (OTUs). About 60% of obtained sequences formed three core OTUs common to all three sampling sites. These were affiliated with actinobacterial Pseudonocardinae (30-50% of sequences in individual sampling site libraries), but also with gammaproteobacterial Chromatiales (6-25%) and Xanthomonadales (0.5-2.0%). Another 7% of sequences were common to two sampling sites and formed eight OTUs, while the remaining 35% were site specific and corresponded mostly to OTUs containing single sequences. The same pattern was observed when these data were compared with sequence data available from similar studies. This comparison showed that distinct limestone caves support microbial communities composed mostly of phylotypes common to all sampling sites.
- SourceAvailable from: Rabbe Sjöberg16th conf. of UIS UIS + 2013 ICS Proceedings. 01/2013;
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ABSTRACT: The Vjetrenica cave in the Dinaric Karst hosts a worldwide extraordinarily high cave biodiversity. Beside a diverse and specialized cave fauna, sprout-like formations attached to the bed of the cave stream were observed and described, but not further characterized, almost a century ago. Here we investigated these sprout-like microbial aggregates by the rRNA approach and detailed microscopy. Based on fluorescence in situ hybridization and ultrastructural analysis, the sprout-like formations are morphologically highly organized, and their core consists of a member of a novel deep-branching lineage in the bacterial phylum Nitrospirae. This organism displays an interesting cellular ultrastructure with different kinds of cytoplasmic inclusions and is embedded in a thick extracellular matrix, which contributes to the stability and shape of the aggregates. This novel bacterium has been provisionally classified as "Candidatus Troglogloea absoloni." The surface of the sprout-like aggregates is more diverse than the core. It is colonized by a bacterial biofilm consisting primarily of filamentous Betaproteobacteria, whereas other microbial populations present in the crust include members of the Bacteriodetes, Gammaproteobacteria, Actinombacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Planctomycetes, which are intermingled with mineral inclusions. This study represents the first thorough molecular and ultrastructural characterization of the elusive sprout-like bacterial aggregates, which are also found in other cave systems of the Dinaric Karst. The discovery of Ca. Troglogloea absoloni contributes to the known biodiversity of subterranean ecosystems and especially of macroscopic structures formed in caves by microorganisms, whose composition and ecological function often remain enigmatic.Microbial Ecology 01/2013; · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Carbonate caves represent subterranean ecosystems that are largely devoid of phototrophic primary production. In semiarid and arid regions, allochthonous organic carbon inputs entering caves with vadose-zone drip water are minimal, creating highly oligotrophic conditions; however, past research indicates that carbonate speleothem surfaces in these caves support diverse, predominantly heterotrophic prokaryotic communities. The current study applied a metagenomic approach to elucidate the community structure and potential energy dynamics of microbial communities, colonizing speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, a carbonate cave in semiarid, southeastern Arizona, USA. Manual inspection of a speleothem metagenome revealed a community genetically adapted to low-nutrient conditions with indications that a nitrogen-based primary production strategy is probable, including contributions from both Archaea and Bacteria. Genes for all six known CO2-fixation pathways were detected in the metagenome and RuBisCo genes representative of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle were over-represented in Kartchner speleothem metagenomes relative to bulk soil, rhizosphere soil and deep-ocean communities. Intriguingly, quantitative PCR found Archaea to be significantly more abundant in the cave communities than in soils above the cave. MEtaGenome ANalyzer (MEGAN) analysis of speleothem metagenome sequence reads found Thaumarchaeota to be the third most abundant phylum in the community, and identified taxonomic associations to this phylum for indicator genes representative of multiple CO2-fixation pathways. The results revealed that this oligotrophic subterranean environment supports a unique chemoautotrophic microbial community with potentially novel nutrient cycling strategies. These strategies may provide key insights into other ecosystems dominated by oligotrophy, including aphotic subsurface soils or aquifers and photic systems such as arid deserts.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 12 September 2013; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.159.The ISME Journal 09/2013; · 8.95 Impact Factor