Microbial diversity and community structure in an antimony-rich tailings dump
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To assess the impact of antimony (Sb) on microbial community structure, 12 samples were taken from an Sb tailings pile in Guizhou Province, Southwest China. All 12 samples exhibited elevated Sb concentrations, but the mobile and bioaccessible fractions were small in comparison to total Sb concentrations. Besides the geochemical analyses, microbial communities inhabiting the tailing samples were characterized to investigate the interplay between the microorganisms and environmental factors in mine tailings. In all samples, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were the most dominant phyla. At the genus level, Thiobacillus, Limnobacter, Nocardioides, Lysobacter, Phormidium, and Kaistobacter demonstrated relatively high abundances. The two most abundant genera, Thiobacillus and Limnobacter, are characterized as sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and thiosulfate-oxidizing bacteria, respectively, while the genus Lysobacter contains arsenic (As)-resistant bacteria. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicates that TOC and the sulfate to sulfide ratio strongly shaped the microbial communities, suggesting the influence of the environmental factors in the indigenous microbial communities.
KeywordIllumina sequencing Antimony Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria Canonical correspondence analysis
Compliance with ethical standards
This research was funded by the Public Welfare Foundation of the Ministry of Water Resources of China (201501011), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41103080, 41173028), the Opening Fund of the State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry (SKLEG2015907), and Guangdong Academy of Sciences (REN  20).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that he has no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
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