Bacteria of the sulfur cycle in the sediments of gold mine tailings, Kuznetsk Basin, Russia
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The number and diversity of culturable microorganisms involved in sulfur oxidation and sulfate reduction were investigated in the oxidized sediments of gold mine tailings, Kuznetsk Basin, Russia. The sediments had a low pH (2.4–2.8), high SO 4 2− content (up to 22 g/l), and high concentrations of dissolved metals. The arsenic content was as high as 1.9 g/l. Bacterial phylogeny in microcosms was investigated by amplification of 16S rRNA gene fragments with subsequent denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Spore-forming bacteria Desulfosporosinus were the only bacteria revealed for which the capacity for dissimilatory sulfate reduction is known. Strain Desulfosporosinus sp. DB was obtained in pure culture, and it was phylogenetically remote from other cultured and uncultured members of the genus. No sulfate-reducing members of the Deltaproteobacteria were detected. The Firmicutes members were the most numerous phylotypes in the microcosms, including a separate cluster with the similarity to Pelotomaculum not exceeding 94%. Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and A. caldus were found in anaerobic and microaerophilic microcosms. The number of sulfate reducers did not exceed 9.5 × 102 cells/ml.
Key wordsdenaturing gradient gel electrophoresis acid mine drainage sulfate-reducing bacteria gold mine tailings Acidithiobacillus Desulfosporosinus Pelotomaculum Thermincola
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