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Comparative microbial ecology study of the sediments and the water column of the Río Tinto, an extreme acidic environment

Autor García-Moyano, Antonio; González-Toril, Elena ; Aguilera, Ángeles ; Amils, Ricardo
Palabras clave Iron
Molecular ecology
16S rRNA
Fecha de publicación 2012
EditorBlackwell Publishing
Citación FEMS Micriobiology Ecology 81: 303-314 (2012)
ResumenDue to its highly metalliferous waters and low pH, the Rio Tinto has shown its potential for modelling both acid mine drainage systems and biohydrometallurgical operations. Most geomicrobiological studies of these systems have focused on the oxic water column. A sequence-based approach in combination with in situ detection techniques enabled us to examine the composition and structure of the microbial communities associated with the suboxic and anoxic sediments along the river course and to compare them with the planktonic communities inhabiting the water column. The results obtained with the different approaches were consistent and revealed some major patterns: higher cell density and higher richness (75 vs. 48 operational taxonomic units) in the sediments than in the water column. The microbial communities were related but the river sediments appear to be enriched in certain populations, some of which have not previously been reported in the Rio Tinto basin. The differences detected between sampling stations along the river correlate with certain environmental parameters (e.g. iron concentration gradient). The biological and geochemical data show the importance of the sediments as representing a phase of particular high diversity, probably related to key metabolic processes within both the iron and the sulfur cycles.
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/115683
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01346.x
issn: 0168-6496
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