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Microb Ecol. 2014 Nov;68(4):729-39. doi: 10.1007/s00248-014-0437-y. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Bacterial distribution along a 50 °C temperature gradient reveals a parceled out hot spring environment.

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IRNAS-CSIC, Avda. Reina Mercedes 10, Sevilla, 41012, Spain.


Understanding the distribution of bacteria is a major goal of microbial ecology which remains to be fully deciphered. In this study, a model 50 °C temperature gradient at a Northern Thailand hot spring was analyzed to determine how the bacterial communities were structured in the environment. Communities were examined through 16S rRNA gene amplification, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and sequencing. The two major phyla, Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi, showed characteristic distributions along the temperature gradient. Different clades were allocated at specific portions of the gradient. Comparisons of the bacterial communities along the temperature gradient showed sharp decreases of similarity at increasing temperature difference. Peaks of maximum richness were observed at 50 and 70 °C. This study contributes to explain how environmental conditions and microbial interactions can influence the distribution of specific bacterial clades and phyla shaping the structure of microbial communities in nature.

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