Microbial Ecology

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 411–424 | Cite as

Comparative Metagenomics of Eight Geographically Remote Terrestrial Hot Springs

  • Peter Menzel
  • Sóley Ruth Gudbergsdóttir
  • Anne Gunn Rike
  • Lianbing Lin
  • Qi Zhang
  • Patrizia Contursi
  • Marco Moracci
  • Jakob K. Kristjansson
  • Benjamin Bolduc
  • Sergey Gavrilov
  • Nikolai Ravin
  • Andrey Mardanov
  • Elizaveta Bonch-Osmolovskaya
  • Mark Young
  • Anders Krogh
  • Xu PengEmail author
Environmental Microbiology


Hot springs are natural habitats for thermophilic Archaea and Bacteria. In this paper, we present the metagenomic analysis of eight globally distributed terrestrial hot springs from China, Iceland, Italy, Russia, and the USA with a temperature range between 61 and 92 C and pH between 1.8 and 7. A comparison of the biodiversity and community composition generally showed a decrease in biodiversity with increasing temperature and decreasing pH. Another important factor shaping microbial diversity of the studied sites was the abundance of organic substrates. Several species of the Crenarchaeal order Thermoprotei were detected, whereas no single bacterial species was found in all samples, suggesting a better adaptation of certain archaeal species to different thermophilic environments. Two hot springs show high abundance of Acidithiobacillus, supporting the idea of a true thermophilic Acidithiobacillus species that can thrive in hyperthermophilic environments. Depending on the sample, up to 58 % of sequencing reads could not be assigned to a known phylum, reinforcing the fact that a large number of microorganisms in nature, including those thriving in hot environments remain to be isolated and characterized.


Metagenomics Hot springs HTS Thermophiles 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union 7th Framework Program-me FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no. 265933.

Supplementary material

248_2015_576_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.9 mb)
(PDF 1.93 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Menzel
    • 1
  • Sóley Ruth Gudbergsdóttir
    • 1
  • Anne Gunn Rike
    • 2
  • Lianbing Lin
    • 3
  • Qi Zhang
    • 3
  • Patrizia Contursi
    • 4
  • Marco Moracci
    • 5
  • Jakob K. Kristjansson
    • 6
  • Benjamin Bolduc
    • 7
  • Sergey Gavrilov
    • 8
  • Nikolai Ravin
    • 9
  • Andrey Mardanov
    • 9
  • Elizaveta Bonch-Osmolovskaya
    • 8
  • Mark Young
    • 7
  • Anders Krogh
    • 1
  • Xu Peng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Norwegian Geotechnical InstituteOsloNorway
  3. 3.Biotechnology Research CenterKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  4. 4.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”NapoliItaly
  5. 5.Department of Biology, Agriculture and Food ScienceInstitute of Biosciences and BioresourcesNaplesItaly
  6. 6. ReykjavikIceland
  7. 7.Montana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  8. 8.Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  9. 9.Bioengineering CenterRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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