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Extremophiles. 2009 Mar;13(2):321-31. doi: 10.1007/s00792-008-0219-x. Epub 2008 Dec 25.

Differential microbial communities in hot spring mats from Western Thailand.

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  • 1Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology, IRNAS-CSIC, Avda. Reina Mercedes 10, 41012, Sevilla, Spain.


The microbial communities of freshwater hot spring mats from Boekleung (Western Thailand) were studied. Temperatures ranged from over 50 up to 57 degrees C. Green-, red-, and yellow colored mat layers were analyzed. In order to detect the major components of the microbial communities constituting the mat as well as the microorganisms showing significant metabolic activity, samples were analyzed using DNA- and RNA-based molecular techniques, respectively. Microbial community fingerprints, performed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), revealed clear differences among mat layers. Thermophilic phototrophic microorganisms, Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi, constituted the major groups in these communities (on average 65 and 51% from DNA and RNA analyses, respectively). Other bacteria detected in the mat were Bacteroidetes, members of the Candidate Division OP10, Actinobacteria, and Planctomycetes. Differently colored mat layers showed characteristic bacterial communities and the major components of the metabolically active fraction of these communities have been identified.

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