In-depth Characterization via Complementing Culture-Independent Approaches of the Microbial Community in an Acidic Hot Spring of the Colombian Andes
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- Bohorquez, L.C., Delgado-Serrano, L., López, G. et al. Microb Ecol (2012) 63: 103. doi:10.1007/s00248-011-9943-3
The microbial community of a Colombian high mountain hot spring, El Coquito, was analyzed using three different culture-independent assessments of 16S ribosomal RNA genes: clone libraries, pyrosequencing of the V5–V6 hypervariable region, and microarray. This acidic spring had a diverse community composed mainly of Bacteria that shared characteristics with those from other hot springs and extreme acidic environments. The microbial community was dominated by Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Planctomycetes and contained chemotrophic bacteria potentially involved in cycling of ferrous and sulfur-containing minerals and phototrophic organisms, most of which were eukaryotic micro-algae. Despite the presence of a large proportion of novel, unclassified sequences, the taxonomic profiles obtained with each strategy showed similarities at higher taxonomic levels. However, some groups, such as Spirochaetes and Aquificae, were identified using only one methodology, and more taxa were detected with the gene array, which also shared more groups with the pyrosequencing data. Overall, the combined use of different approaches provided a broader view of the microbial community in this acidic hot spring.