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Comparative microbial ecology of the water column of an extreme acidic pit lake, Nuestra Señora del Carmen, and the Río Tinto basin (Iberian Pyrite Belt)

AuthorsGonzález-Toril, Elena ; Santofimia, Esther; López-Pamo, Enrique; García-Moyano, Antonio; Aguilera, Ángeles ; Amils, Ricardo
Issue Date15-Dec-2014
PublisherSociedad Española de Microbiología
CitationInternational Microbiology 17: 225-233 (2015)
AbstractAll rights reserved. The Iberian Pyrite Belt, located in Southwestern Spain, represents one of the world’s largest accumulations of mine wastes and acid mine drainages. This study reports the comparative microbial ecology of the water column of Nuestra Señora del Carmen acid pit lake with the extreme acidic Río Tinto basin. The canonical correspondence analysis identified members of the Leptospirillum, Acidiphilium, Metallibacterium, Acidithiobacillus, Ferrimicrobium and Acidisphaera genera as the most representative microorganisms of both ecosystems. The presence of archaeal members is scarce in both systems. Only sequences clustering with the Thermoplasmata have been retrieved in the bottom layer of Nuestra Señora del Carmen and one station of Río Tinto. Although the photosynthetically active radiation values measured in this lake upper layer were low, they were sufficient to activate photosynthesis in acidophilic microorganisms. All identified photosynthetic microorganisms in Nuestra Señora del Carmen (members of the Chlamydomonas, Zygnemopsis and Klebsormidium genera) are major members of the photosynthetic eukaryotic community characterized in Río Tinto basin. This study demonstrates a close relationship between the microbial diversity of Nuestra Señora del Carmen pit lake and the diversity detected in the Río Tinto basin, which underlain the influence of the shared mineral substrates in the microbial ecology of these ecosystems.
Identifiersdoi: 10.2436/20.1501.01.225
issn: 1618-1905
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