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Microb Ecol. 2011 Nov;62(4):853-61. doi: 10.1007/s00248-011-9906-8. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

Microbial diversity of an anoxic zone of a hydroelectric power station reservoir in Brazilian Amazonia.

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  • 1Universidade Federal do Pará. Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, 66075-900 Belém, Pará, Brazil.


Microbial diversity was evaluated in an anoxic zone of Tucuruí Hydroelectric Power Station reservoir in Brazilian Amazonia using a culture-independent approach by amplifying and sequencing fragments of the 16S rRNA gene using metagenomic DNA as a template. Samples obtained from the photic, aphotic (40 m) and sediment (60 m) layers were used to construct six 16S rDNA libraries containing a total of 1,152 clones. The sediment, aphotic and photic layers presented 64, 33 and 35 unique archaeal operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The estimated richness of these layers was evaluated to be 153, 106 and 79 archaeal OTUs, respectively, using the abundance-based coverage estimator (ACE) and 114, 83 and 77 OTUs using the Chao1 estimator. For bacterial sequences, 114, 69 and 57 OTUs were found in the sediment, aphotic and photic layers, which presented estimated richnesses of 1,414, 522 and 197 OTUs (ACE) and 1,059, 1,014 and 148 OTUs (Chao1), respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequences obtained revealed a high richness of microorganisms which participate in the carbon cycle, namely, methanogenic archaea and methanotrophic proteobacteria. Most sequences obtained belong to non-culturable prokaryotes. The present study offers the first glimpse of the huge microbial diversity of an anoxic area of a man-made lacustrine environment in the tropics.

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