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Extremophiles. 2008 Mar;12(2):247-54. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Phylogenetic analysis of the archaeal community in an alkaline-saline soil of the former lake Texcoco (Mexico).

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Departamento de Biotecnología y Bioingeniería, Cinvestav, Campus Zacatenco, Apartado Postal 14-740, Mexico, DF 07360, Mexico.


The soil of the former lake Texcoco is an extreme environment localized in the valley of Mexico City, Mexico. It is highly saline and alkaline, where Na+, Cl(-), HCO3(-) and CO3(2-) are the predominant ions, with a pH ranging from 9.8 to 11.7 and electrolytic conductivities in saturation extracts from 22 to 150 dS m(-1). Metagenomic DNA from the archaeal community was extracted directly from soil and used as template to amplify 16S ribosomal gene by PCR. PCR products were used to construct gene libraries. The ribosomal library showed that the archaeal diversity included Natronococcus sp., Natronolimnobius sp., Natronobacterium sp., Natrinema sp., Natronomonas sp., Halovivax sp., "Halalkalicoccus jeotgali" and novel clades within the family of Halobacteriaceae. Four clones could not be classified. It was found that the archaeal diversity in an alkaline-saline soil of the former lake Texcoco, Mexico, was low, but showed yet uncharacterized and unclassified species.

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