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Microb Ecol. 1997 May-Jun;33(3):169-79.

Characterization of viable bacteria from Siberian permafrost by 16S rDNA sequencing.

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Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee 32306-2043, USA.
FL St U, Tallahassee


Viable bacteria were found in permafrost core samples from the Kolyma-Indigirka lowland of northeast Siberia. The samples were obtained at different depths; the deepest was about 3 million years old. The average temperature of the permafrost is -10 degrees C. Twenty-nine bacterial isolates were characterized by 16S rDNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, cell morphology, Gram staining, endospore formation, and growth at 30 degrees C. The majority of the bacterial isolates were rod shaped and grew well at 30 degrees C; but two of them did not grow at or above 28 degrees C, and had optimum growth temperatures around 20 degrees C. Thirty percent of the isolates could form endospores. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the isolates fell into four categories: high-GC Gram-positive bacteria, beta-proteobacteria, gamma-proteobacteria, and low-GC Gram-positive bacteria. Most high-GC Gram-positive bacteria and beta-proteobacteria, and all gamma-proteobacteria, came from samples with an estimated age of 1.8-3.0 million years (Olyor suite). Most low-GC Gram-positive bacteria came from samples with an estimated age of 5,000-8,000 years (Alas suite).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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