Phylogenetic structure of unusual aquatic microbial formations in Nullarbor caves, Australia
- Permanent Link:
- Phylogenetic structure of unusual aquatic microbial formations in Nullarbor caves, Australia
- Series Title:
- Environmental Microbiology
- Holmes, Andrew J.
Tujula, Niina A.
James, Julia M.
Grillings, Michael R.
- Publication Date:
- Subjects / Keywords:
- Phylogenetic Structure ( local )
Microbial Formations ( local )
Nullarbor Caves, Australia ( local )
Australia ( local )
Electron Microscopy ( local )
DNA Analysis ( local )
Dna ( local )
- serial ( sobekcm )
- The nature of unusual aquatic microbial formations in flooded passages of cave systems in the Nullarbor region of Australia was investigated using electron microscopy and DNA analysis. The caves are located in a semiarid region but intersect the watertable at depths of approximately 100â€ƒm below the surface. Throughout submerged portions of the caves divers have noted the presence of unusual microbial formations. These â€˜microbial mantlesâ€™ comprise sheets or tongues of mucoid material in which small crystals are embedded. Examination of the biomass revealed it to be primarily composed of densely packed, unbranched filaments, together with sphericalâ€, rodâ€ and spiralâ€shaped cells, and microcrystals of calcite in a mucoid matrix. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the community structure revealed âˆ¼12% of clones showed high similarity to autotrophic nitriteâ€oxidizing bacteria (Nitrospira moscoviensis). The remainder of the clones exhibited a high proportion of phylogenetically novel sequence types. Chemical analysis of water samples revealed high levels of sulphate and nitrate together with significant nitrite. The community structure, the presence of nitrite in the water, and the apparent absence of aquatic macrofauna, suggest these microbial structures may represent biochemically novel, chemoautotrophic communities dependent on nitrite oxidation.
- Original Version:
- Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 3, no. 4 (2001-12-20).
- Source Institution:
- University of South Florida Library
- Holding Location:
- University of South Florida
- Rights Management:
- This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.
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