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The macro-alga Cladophora glomerata is found in streams and lakes worldwide. High concentrations of Escherichia coli and enterococci have been reported in Cladophora along the Lake Michigan shore. The objective of this study was to determine if Cladophora supported growth of these indicator bacteria. Algal leachate readily supported in vitro multiplication of E. coli and enterococci, suggesting that leachates contain necessary growth-promoting substances. Growth was directly related to the concentration of algal leachate. E. coli survived for over 6 months in dried Cladophora stored at 4°C; residual E. coli grew after mat rehydration, reaching a carrying capacity of 8 log CFU g-1 in 48 h. Results of this study also...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Microbial crusts are present on surfaces of soils throughout the world. A key feature of these crusts in arid zones is the abundance of filamentous sheath-forming and polysaccharide-excreting cyanobacteria. Several isolates of cyanobacteria were prepared from crust samples (Nizzana sand dunes, north-western Negev Desert, Israel). Optimal growth conditions for two such isolates of Microcoleus sp. were defined, and the role of the excreted polysaccharides in affecting the hydrological properties of crust-covered sand dunes was studied. Experiments with the native crust microbial population demonstrated the possibility of net primary productivity at both high relative air humidities and low moisture content. Published...
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Rodent-associated Bartonella species are generally host-specific parasites in North America. Here evidence that Bartonella species can 'jump' between host species is presented. Northern grasshopper mice and other rodents were trapped in the western USA. A study of Bartonella infection in grasshopper mice demonstrated a high prevalence that varied from 25% to 90% by location. Bartonella infection was detected in other rodent species with a high prevalence as well. Sequence analyses of gltA identified 29 Bartonella variants in rodents, 10 of which were obtained from grasshopper mice. Among these 10, only six variants were specific to grasshopper mice, whereas four were identical to variants specific to deer mice or...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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Gorgonians make up the majority of corals in the Aleutian archipelago and provide critical fish habitat in areas of economically important fisheries. The microbial ecology of the deep-sea gorgonian corals Paragorgea arborea, Plumarella superba, and Cryogorgia koolsae was examined with culture-based and 16S rRNA gene-based techniques. Six coral colonies (two per species) were collected. Samples from all corals were cultured, and clone libraries were constructed from P. superba and C. koolsae. Cultured bacteria were dominated by the Gammaproteobacteria, especially Vibrionaceae, with other phyla comprising <6% of the isolates. The clone libraries showed dramatically different bacterial communities between corals of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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The identity of the numerically dominant N2-fixing bacteria in biological soil crusts of the Colorado Plateau region and two outlying areas was determined using multiple approaches, to link the environmental diversity of nifH gene sequences to cultured bacterial isolates from the regions. Of the nifH sequence-types detected in soil crusts of the Colorado Plateau, 89% (421/473) were most closely related to nifH signature sequences from cyanobacteria of the order Nostocales. N2-fixing cyanobacterial strains were cultured from crusts and their morphotypes, 16S rRNA gene and nifH gene sequences were characterized. The numerically dominant diazotrophs in the Colorado Plateau crusts fell within three clades of heterocystous...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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The degradation of organic carbon in subseafloor sediments on continental margins contributes to the largest reservoir of methane on Earth. Sediments in the Andaman Sea are composed of ~ 1% marine-derived organic carbon and biogenic methane is present. Our objective was to determine microbial abundance and diversity in sediments that transition the gas hydrate occurrence zone (GHOZ) in the Andaman Sea. Microscopic cell enumeration revealed that most sediment layers harbored relatively low microbial abundance (103–105 cells cm−3). Archaea were never detected despite the use of both DNA- and lipid-based methods. Statistical analysis of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms revealed distinct microbial...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Our planet offers many opportunities for life on the edge: high and low temperatures, high salt concentrations, acidic and basic conditions and toxic environments, to name but a few extremes. Recent studies have revealed the diversity of fungi that can occur in stressful environments that are hostile to most eukaryotes. We review these studies here, with the additional purpose of proposing some mechanisms that would allow for the evolutionary adaptation of eukaryotic microbial life under extreme conditions. We focus, in particular, on life in ice and life at high salt concentrations, as there is a surprising similarity between the fungal populations in these two kinds of environments, both of which are characterized...
Most of the Earth? s biospere is characterized by low temperatures. Vast areas of the soil ecosystem are permanently frozen or are unfrozen for only a few weeks in summer, and 90% of the ocean volume is below 5 �C. Cold environments are colonized by cold-adapted, psychrophilic and psychrotolerant, microorganisms able to grow at 0 �C and even below. Considering the fact that more than 80% of the Earth? s biosphere is at temperatures below 5 �C, it is not surprising that cold-adapted microorganisms are widespread in nature. To survive and grow successfully in cold environments, they have evolved a complex range of adaptations of all their cellular constituents, which enable to compensate for the negative effects of...
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Acetylene (IUPAC name: ethyne) is a colorless, gaseous hydrocarbon, composed of two triple bonded carbon atoms attached to hydrogens (C2H2). When microbiologists and biogeochemists think of acetylene, they immediately think of its use as an inhibitory compound of certain microbial processes and a tracer for nitrogen fixation. However, what is less widely known is that anaerobic and aerobic microorganisms can degrade acetylene, using it as a sole carbon and energy source and providing the basis of a microbial food web. Here, we review what is known about acetylene degrading organisms and introduce the term 'acetylenotrophs' to refer to the microorganisms that carry out this metabolic pathway. In addition, we review...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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Bovine rumen fluid and slurried hamster feces completely reduced millimolar levels of arsenate to arsenite upon incubation under anoxic conditions. This activity was strongly inhibited by autoclaving or aerobic conditions, and partially inhibited by tungstate or chloramphenicol. The rate of arsenate reduction was faster in feces from a population of arsenate-watered (100 ppm) hamsters compared to a control group watered without arsenate. Using radioisotope methods, arsenate reductase activity in hamster feces was also detected at very low concentrations of added arsenate (∼10 μM). Bacterial cultures were isolated from these materials, as well as from the termite hindgut, that grew using H2 as their electron donor,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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Desulfomonile tiedjei is a Gram-negative sulfate-reducing bacterium capable of catalyzing aryl reductive dehalogenation reactions. Since many toxic and persistent contaminants in the subsurface are halogenated aromatic compounds, the detection and enumeration of dehalogenating microorganisms in the environment may be a useful tool for planning and evaluating bioremediation efforts. In this study, we show that D. tiedjei contains unique lipopolysaccharide branched 3-hydroxy fatty acids, unknown as yet in other bacteria, and that it is possible to detect the bacterium in inoculated aquifer sediments based on these signature lipid biomarkers. The detection of D. tiedjeiand other dehalogenating microorganisms possessing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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Seepage of coal-bed methane (CBM) through soils is a potential source of atmospheric CH4 and also a likely source of ancient (i.e. 14C-dead) carbon to soil microbial communities. Natural abundance 13C and 14C compositions of bacterial membrane phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and soil gas CO2 and CH4 were used to assess the incorporation of CBM-derived carbon into methanotrophs and other members of the soil microbial community. Concentrations of type I and type II methanotroph PLFA biomarkers (16:1ω8c and 18:1ω8c, respectively) were elevated in CBM-impacted soils compared with a control site. Comparison of PLFA and 16s rDNA data suggested type I and II methanotroph populations were well estimated and overestimated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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A major goal of microbial ecology is to identify links between microbial community structure and microbial processes. Although this objective seems straightforward, there are conceptual and methodological challenges to designing studies that explicitly evaluate this link. Here, we analyzed literature documenting structure and process responses to manipulations to determine the frequency of structure-process links and whether experimental approaches and techniques influence link detection. We examined nine journals (published 2009–13) and retained 148 experimental studies measuring microbial community structure and processes. Many qualifying papers (112 of 148) documented structure and process responses, but few...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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Microorganisms associated with corals are hypothesized to contribute to the function of the host animal by cycling nutrients, breaking down carbon sources, fixing nitrogen, and producing antibiotics. This is the first study to culture and characterize bacteria from Lophelia pertusa, a cold-water coral found in the deep sea, in an effort to understand the roles that the microorganisms play in the coral microbial community. Two sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico were sampled over 2 years. Bacteria were cultured from coral tissue, skeleton, and mucus, identified by 16S rRNA genes, and subjected to biochemical testing. Most isolates were members of the Gammaproteobacteria, although there was one isolate each from...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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Sediments from the Porangahau ridge, located off the northeastern coast of New Zealand, were studied to describe bacterial community structure in conjunction with differing biogeochemical regimes across the ridge. Low diversity was observed in sediments from an eroded basin seaward of the ridge and the community was dominated by uncultured members of the Burkholderiales. Chloroflexi/GNS and Deltaproteobacteria were abundant in sediments from a methane seep located landward of the ridge. Gas-charged and organic-rich sediments further landward had the highest overall diversity. Surface sediments, with the exception of those from the basin, were dominated by Rhodobacterales sequences associated with organic matter...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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There are few methods available for broadly assessing microbial community metabolism directly within a groundwater environment. In this study, hydrogen consumption rates were estimated from in situ injection/withdrawal tests conducted in two geochemically varying, contaminated aquifers as an approach towards developing such a method. The hydrogen consumption first-order rates varied from 0.002 nM h-1 for an uncontaminated, aerobic site to 2.5 nM h-1 for a contaminated site where sulfate reduction was a predominant process. The method could accommodate the over three orders of magnitude range in rates that existed between subsurface sites. In a denitrifying zone, the hydrogen consumption rate (0.02 nM h-1) was immediately...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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Injecting CO2 into depleted oil reservoirs to extract additional crude oil is a common enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) technique. However, little is known about how in situ microbial communities may be impacted by CO2 flooding, or if any permanent microbiological changes occur after flooding has ceased. Formation water was collected from an oil field that was flooded for CO2-EOR in the 1980s, including samples from areas affected by or outside of the flood region, to determine the impacts of CO2-EOR on reservoir microbial communities. Archaea, specifically methanogens, were more abundant than bacteria in all samples, while identified bacteria exhibited much greater diversity than the archaea. Microbial communities...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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Nitrification rates were measured using intact sediment cores from South San Francisco Bay and two different nitrification inhibitors: acetylene and methyl fluoride. Sediment oxygen consumption and ammonium and nitrate fluxes were also measured in these cores. Four experiments were conducted in the spring, and one in the fall of 1993. There was no significant difference in nitrification rates measured using the two inhibitors, which suggests that methyl fluoride can be used as an effective inhibitor of nitrification. Nitrification was positively correlated with sediment oxygen consumption and numbers of macrofauna. This suggests that bioturbation by macrofauna is an important control of nitrification rates. Irrigation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
In order to assess the role of cyanobacteria in the formation and dynamics of microenvironments in microbial mats, we studied an experimental biofilm of a benthic, halotolerant strain, belonging to the Halothece cluster of cyanobacteria. The 12-week-old biofilm developed in a sand core incubated in a benthic gradient chamber under opposing oxygen and sulfide vertical concentration gradients. At the biofilm surface, and as a response to high light irradiances, specific accumulation of myxoxanthophyll was detected in the cells, consistent with the typical vertical distribution of sun versus shade species in nature. The oxygen turn-over in terms of gross photosynthesis and net productivity rates was comparable to oxygen...
Four microbial mat-forming, non-axenic, strains of the non-heterocystous, filamentous, cyanobacterial genus Microcoleus were maintained in culture and examined for the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen (N2). Each was tested for nitrogenase activity using the acetylene reduction assay (ARA) and for the presence of the dinitrogenase reductase gene (nifH), an essential gene for N2 fixation, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The Microcoleus spp. cultures were incapable of growth without an exogenous nitrogen source and never exhibited nitrogenase activity. Attempts to amplify a 360-bp segment of the nifH gene using DNA purified from the cyanobacterial cultures did not produce any cyanobacteria-specific nifH...