Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Front Microbiol. 2017 Sep 12;8:1756. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01756. eCollection 2017.

Bacterial, Archaeal, and Eukaryotic Diversity across Distinct Microhabitats in an Acid Mine Drainage.

Author information

Department of Functional Biology - IUBA, University of OviedoOviedo, Spain.
Vedas Research and Innovation, Vedas CIIMedellín, Colombia.
Department of Mining Exploitation and Prospecting - IUBA, University of OviedoMieres, Spain.
Department of Biology of Organisms and Systems - University of OviedoOviedo, Spain.
Equipe Environnement et Microbiologie, CNRS/Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Institut des Sciences Analytiques et de Physico-chimie pour l'Environnement et les Matériaux, UMR5254Pau, France.
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, UrbanaIL, United States.


Acid mine drainages are characterized by their low pH and the presence of dissolved toxic metallic species. Microorganisms survive in different microhabitats within the ecosystem, namely water, sediments, and biofilms. In this report, we surveyed the microbial diversity within all domains of life in the different microhabitats at Los Rueldos abandoned mercury underground mine (NW Spain), and predicted bacterial function based on community composition. Sediment samples contained higher proportions of soil bacteria (AD3, Acidobacteria), as well as Crenarchaeota and Methanomassiliicoccaceae archaea. Oxic and hypoxic biofilm samples were enriched in bacterial iron oxidizers from the genus Leptospirillum, order Acidithiobacillales, class Betaproteobacteria, and archaea from the class Thermoplasmata. Water samples were enriched in Cyanobacteria and Thermoplasmata archaea at a 3-98% of the sunlight influence, whilst Betaproteobacteria, Thermoplasmata archaea, and Micrarchaea dominated in acid water collected in total darkness. Stalactites hanging from the Fe-rich mine ceiling were dominated by the neutrophilic iron oxidizer Gallionella and other lineages that were absent in the rest of the microhabitats (e.g., Chlorobi, Chloroflexi). Eukaryotes were detected in biofilms and open-air water samples, and belonged mainly to clades SAR (Alveolata and Stramenopiles), and Opisthokonta (Fungi). Oxic and hypoxic biofilms displayed higher proportions of ciliates (Gonostomum, Oxytricha), whereas water samples were enriched in fungi (Paramicrosporidium and unknown microbial Helotiales). Predicted function through bacterial community composition suggested adaptive evolutive convergence of function in heterogeneous communities. Our study showcases a broad description of the microbial diversity across different microhabitats in the same environment and expands the knowledge on the diversity of microbial eukaryotes in AMD habitats.


Archaea; Bacteria; Eukarya; acid mine drainage; biofilm; ore; sediment; stalactite

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center