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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 May;71(5):2771-6.

Investigation of the microbial ecology of intertidal hot springs by using diversity analysis of 16S rRNA and chitinase genes.

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  • 1Prokaria Ltd., Gylfaflöt 5, IS-112 Reykjavik, Iceland.


The microbial diversity of intertidal hot springs on the seashore of northwest Iceland was examined by combining directed in situ enrichments, artificial support colonization, and mat sampling. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes revealed the presence of clones related to both marine and terrestrial, thermophilic, mesophilic, and psychrophilic microorganisms scattered among 11 bacterial divisions. No archaea were found. The species composition of the enrichments was affected by the length of the hot periods experienced at low tide and was very different from those found in the biomass. A total of 36 chitinase genes were detected by molecular screening of the samples with degenerate primers for glycoside hydrolase family 18. The chitinase gene diversity was at least twofold higher in the enrichment samples than in the controls, indicating that a much higher diversity of hydrolytic genes can be accessed with this approach.

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