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Extremophiles. 2009 Jan;13(1):39-48. doi: 10.1007/s00792-008-0195-1. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Isolation and diversity analysis of arsenite-resistant bacteria in communities enriched from deep-sea sediments of the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge.

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Key Laboratory of Marine Biogenetic Resources, Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Xiamen, Fujian 361005, China.


Microorganisms play an important role in the geobiocycling of arsenic element. However, little is known about the bacteria involved in this process in oceanic environments. In this report, arsenite-resistant bacteria were detected in deep-sea sediments on the Southwest Indian Ridge. From arsenite enriched cultures, 54 isolates were obtained, which showed varied tolerance to arsenite of 2-80 mM. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA showed that they mainly belonged to Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis revealed that Microbacterium esteraromaticum was the dominant member in the arsenite enriched communities, and this was reconfirmed by 16S rRNA gene library analyses. Thus, M. esteraromaticum showed highest resistant to arsenite among the detected bacteria. These results indicate that there are quite diverse bacteria of arsenite resistance inhabiting the deep sea sediment, which may play a role in the geobiocycling of arsenic element in marine environments.

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