Microbial Ecology

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 311–324 | Cite as

Culture-Dependent and Independent Studies of Microbial Diversity in Highly Copper-Contaminated Chilean Marine Sediments

  • Ludovic BesauryEmail author
  • Florence Marty
  • Sylvaine Buquet
  • Valérie Mesnage
  • Gerard Muyzer
  • Laurent Quillet
Environmental Microbiology


Cultivation and molecular-based approaches were used to study microbial diversity in two Chilean marine sediments contaminated with high (835 ppm) and very high concentrations of copper (1,533 ppm). The diversity of cultivable bacteria resistant to copper was studied at oxic and anoxic conditions, focusing on sulfate-, thiosulfate-, and iron-reducing bacteria. For both sediments, the cultivable bacteria isolated at oxic conditions were mostly affiliated to the genus Bacillus, while at anoxic conditions the majority of the cultivable bacteria found were closely related to members of the genera Desulfovibrio, Sphingomonas, and Virgibacillus. Copper resistance was between 100 and 400 ppm, with the exception of a strain affiliated to members of the genus Desulfuromonas, which was resistant up to 1,000 ppm of copper. In parallel, cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA was performed to study the total bacterial diversity in the sediments. A weak correlation was observed between the isolated strains and the 16S rRNA operational taxonomic units detected. The presence of copper resistance genes (copA, cusA, and pcoA) was tested for all the strains isolated; only copA was detected in a few isolates, suggesting that other copper resistance mechanisms could be used by the bacteria in those highly copper-contaminated sediments.


Total Organic Carbon Sediment Core Clone Library Actinobacteria Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the International ECOS program (n° C06B05) and the ECCO French research program “MISECHICUI.” We thank Dilys Moscato for the help with the English. We thank Ben Abbas for the technical support.

Supplementary material

248_2012_120_MOESM1_ESM.doc (114 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 113 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludovic Besaury
    • 1
    Email author
  • Florence Marty
    • 2
  • Sylvaine Buquet
    • 4
  • Valérie Mesnage
    • 1
  • Gerard Muyzer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Laurent Quillet
    • 4
  1. 1.UMR CNRS 6143 M2C—groupe MicrobiologieUniversité de RouenRouenFrance
  2. 2.Environmental Biotechnology, Department of BiotechnologyUniversity of Technology of DelftDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Aquatic Microbiology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem DynamicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Laboratoire Universitaire MEB “Microbiologie Environnementale et Biologie Evolutive”Rouen cedexFrance

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