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Microbial diversity and metabolic networks in acid mine drainage habitats

AuthorsMéndez-García, Celia; Peláez, Ana I.; Mesa, Victoria; Sánchez, Jesús; Golyshina, Olga V. ; Ferrer, Manuel
Issue Date29-May-2015
PublisherFrontiers Media
CitationFrontiers in Microbiology 6: 475 (2015)
AbstractAcid mine drainage (AMD) emplacements are low-complexity natural systems. Low-pH conditions appear to be the main factor underlying the limited diversity of the microbial populations thriving in these environments, although temperature, ionic composition, total organic carbon, and dissolved oxygen are also considered to significantly influence their microbial life. This natural reduction in diversity driven by extreme conditions was reflected in several studies on the microbial populations inhabiting the various micro-environments present in such ecosystems. Early studies based on the physiology of the autochthonous microbiota and the growing success of omics-based methodologies have enabled a better understanding of microbial ecology and function in low-pH mine outflows; however, complementary omics-derived data should be included to completely describe their microbial ecology. Furthermore, recent updates on the distribution of eukaryotes and archaea recovered through sterile filtering (herein referred to as filterable fraction) in these environments demand their inclusion in the microbial characterization of AMD systems. In this review, we present a complete overview of the bacterial, archaeal (including filterable fraction), and eukaryotic diversity in these ecosystems, and include a thorough depiction of the metabolism and element cycling in AMD habitats. We also review different metabolic network structures at the organismal level, which is necessary to disentangle the role of each member of the AMD communities described thus far.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.00475
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