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Microbiol Res. 2007;162(2):99-107. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Activity of bacteria in water of hot springs from Southern and Central Kamchatskaya geothermal provinces, Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia.

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  • 1Limnological Institute of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Ulan-Batorskaya str., 3, P.O. Box 4199, Irkutsk 664033, Russia.


The hot-spring waters of numerous hot springs at the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia differ in their chemical characteristics and elemental composition. Total bacterial abundance (TBA) as well as enzymatically active and respiring bacteria was enumerated in water samples collected from the Nalychevskie, Oksinskie, Apapelskie, and Dachnye hot springs. 5-Carboxyfluorescein diacetate activity was detected in all water samples and comprised 29-65% of the TBA as determined by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindol staining. The respiratory activity of iron-oxidizing bacteria was assayed by 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyltetrazolium chloride reduction. Respiring cells accounted for 9-14% of the TBA, indicating a positive correlation with the number of iron-oxidizing bacteria from the hot-spring biomats. Enumeration of heterotrophic bacteria revealed a high-density bacterial population only in the water of the Apapelskie hot spring, which has a temperature of 36 degrees C. Therefore, it appears that heterotrophic and iron-oxidizing bacteria inhabiting the hot-spring waters are essential for the geochemical processes occurring in hydrothermal systems.

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