- Diversity and distribution of Halomonas in Rambla Salada, a hypersaline environment in the southeast of Spain
- FEMS Microbiology Ecology
- Volume | Issue number
- 87 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
We have studied the diversity and distribution of Halomonas populations in the hypersaline habitat Rambla Salada (Murcia, southeastern Spain) by using different molecular techniques. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) using specific primers for the 16S rRNA gene of Halomonas followed by a multivariate analysis of the results indicated that richness and evenness of the Halomonas populations were mainly influenced by the season. We found no significant differences between the types of samples studied, from either watery sediments or soil samples. The highest value of diversity was reached in June 2006, the season with the highest salinity. Furthermore, canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) demonstrated that both salinity and pH significantly affected the structure of the Halomonas community. Halomonas almeriensis and two denitrifiers, H. ilicicola and H.ventosae were the predominant species. CARD-FISH showed that the percentage of Halomonas cells with respect to the total number of microorganisms ranged from 4.4% to 5.7%. To study the functional role of denitrifying species, we designed new primer sets targeting denitrification nirS and nosZ genes. Using these primers, we analyzed sediments from the upwelling zone collected in June 2006, where we found the highest percentage of denitrifiers (74%). Halomonas ventosae was the predominant denitrifier in this site.
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