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World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 801–809 | Cite as

Use of low nutrient enrichments to access novel amylase genes in silent diversity of thermophiles

  • Cédric F.V. Hobel
  • Viggó T. Marteinsson
  • Sigurbjörg Hauksdóttir
  • Ólafur H. Fridjónsson
  • Sigurlaug Skírnisdóttir
  • Gudmundur Ó. Hreggvidsson
  • Jakob K. Kristjánsson
Article

Abstract

By combining low nutrient enrichments and molecular methods, a high diversity of new amylase genes was detected in a neutral sulphide-rich hot spring in Iceland. Enrichments based on hot spring water and low concentrations of starch were used to select slow-growing, starch-degrading microorganisms. Six enrichments had in total 17 bacterial types detected by 16S rRNA analysis, mostly related to the Thermus-Deinococcus group, green non-sulphur bacteria, gram positives, and uncultivated new candidate divisions. No Archaea were found. The apparent 16S rRNA species composition of the enrichments was very different from that of the microbial mat in the same hot spring. DNA samples obtained from 4 enrichments and from hot spring biomass were screened by PCR for amylase genes in glycoside-hydrolase family 13. Degenerate primers, based on conserved amino acid sequences from multiple␣alignments of family 13, enabled the detection of 18 amylase sequence types in the enrichments, including α-amylases, α-glucosidases, 1,4-α-glucan branching enzymes, cyclomaltodextrin hydrolases, maltogenic amylases and neopullulanases, and unspecified family 13 glycoside-hydrolases. Only one unique neopullulanase sequence, also found in most of the enrichments, was detected in the hot spring biomass DNA. The results suggest that the enrichment method combined with sequence-based screening is an efficient way to access the silent, i.e. not detectable, gene diversity in natural environments.

16S rRNA amylase genes enrichments hot spring PCR thermophiles 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cédric F.V. Hobel
    • 1
  • Viggó T. Marteinsson
    • 1
  • Sigurbjörg Hauksdóttir
    • 1
  • Ólafur H. Fridjónsson
    • 1
  • Sigurlaug Skírnisdóttir
    • 1
  • Gudmundur Ó. Hreggvidsson
    • 2
  • Jakob K. Kristjánsson
    • 2
  1. 1.Prokaria Ltd.sturlugataIceland
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyUniversity of IcelandsturlugataIceland

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