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17, No. 3, 2013; Pages: 523 - 534

Archaeal and bacterial diversity in two hot spring microbial mats from a geothermal region in Romania

Cristian Coman, Bogdan Druga, Adriana Hegedus, Cosmin Sicora, Nicolae Dragos

NIRDBS Romania, Institute of Biological Research, 48 Republicii Street, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The diversity of archaea and bacteria was investigated in two slightly alkaline, mesophilic hot springs from the Western Plain of Romania. Phylogenetic analysis showed a low diversity of Archaea, only three Euryarchaeota taxa being detected: Methanomethylovorans thermophila, Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis and Methanococcus aeolicus. Twelve major bacterial groups were identified, both springs being dominated by Cyanobacteria, Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria. While at the phylum/class-level the microbial mats share a similar biodiversity; at the species level the geothermal springs investigated seem to be colonized by specific consortia. The dominant taxa were filamentous heterocyst-containing Fischerella, at 45 °C and non-heterocyst Leptolyngbya and Geitlerinema, at 55 °C. Other bacterial taxa (Thauera sp., Methyloversatilis universalis, Pannonibacter phragmitetus, Polymorphum gilvum, Metallibacterium sp. and Spartobacteria) were observed for the first time in association with a geothermal habitat. Based on their bacterial diversity the two mats were clustered together with other similar habitats from Europe and part of Asia, most likely the water temperature playing a major role in the formation of specific microbial communities that colonize the investigated thermal springs.

Keywords: Biodiversity; Microbial mat; Archaeal diversity; Bacterial diversity; Hot springs; Community structure



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