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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2002 Aug;25(2):232-40.

Microbial diversity in an in situ reactor system treating monochlorobenzene contaminated groundwater as revealed by 16S ribosomal DNA analysis.

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UFZ-Umweltforschungszentrum, Sektion Umweltmikrobiologie, Leipzig, Germany.


A molecular approach based on the construction of 16S ribosomal DNA clone libraries was used to investigate the microbial diversity of an underground in situ reactor system filled with the original aquifer sediments. After chemical steady state was reached in the monochlorobenzene concentration between the original inflowing groundwater and the reactor outflow, samples from different reactor locations and from inflowing and outflowing groundwater were taken for DNA extraction. Small-subunit rRNA genes were PCR-amplified with primers specific for Bacteria, subsequently cloned and screened for variation by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). A total of 87 bacterial 16S rDNA genes were sequenced and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. The original groundwater was found to be dominated by a bacterial consortium affiliated with various members of the class of Proteobacteria, by phylotypes not affiliated with currently recognized bacterial phyla, and also by sporulating and non-sporulating sulfate-reducing bacteria. The most occurring clone types obtained from the sediment samples of the reactor were related to the beta-Proteobacteria, dominated by sequences almost identical to the widespread bacterium Alcaligenes faecalis, to low G+C gram-positive bacteria and to Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (formerly Thiobacillus ferrooxidans) within the gamma subclass of Proteobacteria in the upper reactor sector. Although bacterial phylotypes originating from the groundwater outflow of the reactors also grouped within different subdivisions of Proteobacteria and low G+C gram-positive bacteria, most of the 16S rDNA sequences were not associated with the sequence types observed in the reactor samples. Our results suggest that the different environments were inhabited by distinct microbial communities in respect to their taxonomic diversity, particular pronounced between sediment attached microbial communities from the reactor samples and free-living bacteria from the groundwater in- and outflow.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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