Diversity of acidophilic prokaryotes at two acid mine drainage sites in Turkey
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The biodiversity of acidophilic prokaryotes in two acidic (pH 2.8–3.05) mine drainage (AMD) sites (Balya and Çan) in Turkey was examined using a combined cultivation-based and cultivation-independent approach. The latter included analyzing microbial diversity using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), terminal restriction enzyme fragment length polymorphism (`T-RFLP), and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Numbers of cultivatable heterotrophic acidophilic bacteria were over an order of magnitude greater than those of chemolithotrophic acidophiles in both AMD ponds examined. Isolates identified as strains of Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans, Acidiphilium organovorum, and Ferrimicrobium acidiphilum were isolated from the Balya AMD pond, and others identified as strains of Leptospirillum ferriphilum, Acidicapsa ligni, and Acidiphilium rubrum from Çan AMD. Other isolates were too distantly related (from analysis of their 16S rRNA genes) to be identified at the species level. Archaeal diversity in the two ponds appeared to be far more limited. T-RFLP and qPCR confirmed the presence of Ferroplasma-like prokaryotes, but no archaea were isolated from the two sites. qPCR generated semiquantitative data for genera of some of the iron-oxidizing acidophiles isolated and/or detected, suggesting the order of abundance was Leptospirillum > Ferroplasma > Acidithiobacillus (Balya AMD) and Ferroplasma > Leptospirillum > Acidithiobacillus (Çan AMD).
KeywordsAcidophile Acidic mine drainage Microbial diversity Turkey
This study is based partly on the PhD thesis of P. Aytar. The study was supported by Eskisehir Osmangazi University Scientific Research Projects Committee (Project No.: 201119018).
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