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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Apr;63(4):1505-14.

Bacterial diversity of a Carolina bay as determined by 16S rRNA gene analysis: confirmation of novel taxa.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2605, USA.


Carolina bays are naturally occurring shallow elliptical depressions largely fed by rain and shallow ground water. To identify members of the domain Bacteria which inhibit such an environment, we used PCR to construct a library of 16S rRNA genes (16S rDNAs) cloned from DNA extracted from the sediments of Rainbow bay, located on the Savannah River Site, near Aiken, S.C. Oligonucleotides complementary to conserved regions of 16S rDNA were used as primers for PCR, and gel-purified PCR products were cloned into vector pGEM-T. Partial sequencing of the cloned 16S rDNAs revealed an extensive amount of phylogenetic diversity within this system. Of the 35 clones sequenced, 32 were affiliated with five bacterial groups: 11 clustered with the Proteobacteria division (including members of the alpha, beta, and delta subdivisions), 8 clustered with the Acidobacterium subdivision of the Fibrobacter division (as categorized by the Ribosomal Database Project's taxonomic scheme, version 5.0), 7 clustered with the Verrucomicrobium subdivision of the Planctomyces division, 3 clustered with the gram-positive bacteria (Clostridium and relatives subdivision), and 3 clustered with the green nonsulfur bacteria. One sequence branched very deeply from the Bacteria and was found not to be associated with any of the major divisions when phylogenetic trees were constructed. Two clones did not consistently cluster with specific groups and may be chimeric sequences. None of the clones exhibited an exact match to any of the 16S rDNA sequences deposited in the databases, suggesting that most of the bacteria in Rainbow Bay are novel species. In particular, the clones related to the Acidobacterium subdivision and the Verrucomicrobium subdivision confirm the presence of novel taxa discovered previously in other molecular surveys of this type.

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