- Culture-Dependent and Independent Studies of Microbial Diversity in Highly Copper-Contaminated Chilean Marine Sediments
- Microbial Ecology
- Volume | Issue number
- 65 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Cultivation and molecular-based approaches were used to study microbial diversity in two Chilean marine sediments contaminated with high (835 ppm) and very high concentrations of copper (1,533 ppm). The diversity of cultivable bacteria resistant to copper was studied at oxic and anoxic conditions, focusing on sulfate-, thiosulfate-, and iron-reducing bacteria. For both sediments, the cultivable bacteria isolated at oxic conditions were mostly affiliated to the genus Bacillus, while at anoxic conditions the majority of the cultivable bacteria found were closely related to members of the genera Desulfovibrio, Sphingomonas, and Virgibacillus. Copper resistance was between 100 and 400 ppm, with the exception of a strain affiliated to members of the genus Desulfuromonas, which was resistant up to 1,000 ppm of copper. In parallel, cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA was performed to study the total bacterial diversity in the sediments. A weak correlation was observed between the isolated strains and the 16S rRNA operational taxonomic units detected. The presence of copper resistance genes (copA, cusA, and pcoA) was tested for all the strains isolated; only copA was detected in a few isolates, suggesting that other copper resistance mechanisms could be used by the bacteria in those highly copper-contaminated sediments.
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