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Microbial community of salt crystals processed from Mediterranean seawater based on 16S rRNA analysis

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Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA was used to investigate for the first time the structure of the microbial community that inhabits salt crystals retrieved from the bottom of a solar saltern, located in the coastal area of the Mediterranean Sea (Sfax, Tunisia). This community lives in an extremely salty environment of 250-310 g/L total dissolved salt. A total of 78 bacterial 16S rRNA clone sequences making up to 21 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), determined by the DOTUR program to 97% sequence similarity, was analyzed. These OTUs were affiliated to Bacteroidetes (71.4% of OTUs), and -Proteobacteria and α-Proteobacteria (equally represented by 14.2% of the OTUs observed). The archaeal community composition appeared more diverse with 68 clones, resulting in 44 OTUs, all affiliated with the Euryarchaeota phylum. Of the bacterial and archaeal clones showing <97% 16S rRNA sequence identity with sequences in public databases, 47.6% and 84.1% respectively were novel clones. Both rarefaction curves and diversity measurements (Simpson, Shannon-Weaver, Chao) showed a more diverse archaeal than bacterial community at the Tunisian solar saltern pond. The analysis of an increasing clone’s number may reveal additional local diversity.

La phylogénie de la communauté microbienne des cristaux de sels prélevés de la saline de Sfax (Tunisie) à partir des bassins ayant une concentration en sels comprise entre 250-310 g/L a été étudiée en utilisant les techniques moléculaires basées sur l’amplification par PCR des gènes codants pour l’ARNr 16S. Un nombre total de 78 séquences bactériales a été analysé, révélant 21 unités taxonomiques opérationnelles (UTO). Ces unités taxonomiques appartiennent aux groupes des Bacteroidetes (71,4 % des UTO); -protéobactéries (14,2 % des UTO) et -protéobactéries (14,2 % des UTO). La communauté archéenne appartenant au phylum des Euryarchaeota était plus diversifiée et représentait 68 séquences groupées en 44 UTO. 47,6 et 84,1 % rattaché au domaine des Bactéries et des Archaea montrent un pourcentage de similarité inférieur à 97 %. Ces derniers représentent ainsi de nouveaux clones. L’analyse de raréfaction et la mesure des indices de diversités (Simpson, Shannon-Weaver, Chao) montrent que la communauté des Archaea était plus diversifiée que celle des Bactéries.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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