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A combined approach of 16S rRNA and a functional marker gene, soxB to reveal the diversity of sulphur-oxidising bacteria in thermal springs

Jaffer, Y. D., Purushothaman, C. S., Sanath Kumar, H., Irfan, A. B., Gireesh-Babu, P., Ganie, P. A., Bhat, R. A. H., Vennila, A.
Archives of microbiology 2019 v.201 no.7 pp. 951-967
Actinobacteria, Brevibacillus, Caldimonas, Chelatococcus, Geobacillus, Hydrogenophaga, Nitratireductor, Paenibacillus, bacteria, clones, gamma-Proteobacteria, genes, genetic markers, hot springs, new taxa, nucleotide sequences, oxidation, phylogeny, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, species diversity, sulfur, thiosulfates, India
With the advent of new molecular tools, new taxa of sulphur-oxidising bacteria (SOB) in diverse environments are being discovered. However, there is a significant gap of knowledge about the ecology and diversity of SOB in thermal springs. Here, the species diversity and phylogenetic affiliations of SOB were investigated using 16S rRNA and functional gene marker, soxB in thermal springs of Thane district of Maharashtra, India. Most SOB detected by 16S rDNA sequences belong to different operational taxonomic units (OTU’s): Firmicutes, α-, β-, γ-Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria with the dominance of first class. However, the soxB gene clone library sequences had shown affiliation with the β-, γ- and α-Proteobacteria. β-Proteobacteria-related sequences were dominant, with 53.3% clones belonging to genus Hydrogenophaga. The thiosulphate oxidation assay carried out for different isolates having distinct identity showed the mean sulphate-sulphur production from 117.86 ± 0.50 to 218.82 ± 2.56 mg SO₄-S l⁻¹ after 9 days of incubation. Also, sulphur oxidation by the genus Nitratireductor, Caldimonas, Geobacillus, Paenibacillus, Brevibacillus, Tristrella and Chelatococcus has been reported for the first time that reveals ecological widening over which thiotrophs are distributed.