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Characterization of the bacterial community structure of Sydney Tar Ponds sediment

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The Sydney Tar Ponds is one of the largest toxic waste sites in Canada. The bacterial diversity and abundance in the Sydney Tar Ponds sediment was examined using a 16S rRNA gene clone library and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) with four different primer sets. The clone library was grouped into 19 phylotypes that could be divided into five phyla: Proteobacteria (56.9%), Actinobacteria (35%), Acidobacteria (4.9%), Firmicutes (2.4%), and Verrucomicrobia (0.8%). Members of the phyla Actinobacteria (represented mainly by Mycobacterium spp.) and Alphaproteobacteria (represented by Acidocella spp.) comprised the majority of the clone library. This study also revealed that the phylogenetic results obtained from clone library analysis and from DGGE analysis, with all the primer sets, showed some variability. However, similar Mycobacterium spp. and Acidocella spp. were found in all the different DGGE analyses, again suggesting that these two genera are dominant in the Sydney Tar Ponds sediment. In addition, DGGE analysis indicated that primer sets targeting the V3 region produced results that were the most similar to those obtained with the clone library.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene; ARNr 16S; DGGE; Sydney Tar Ponds; bacterial community structure; banque de clones; clone library; mares de goudron de Sydney; structure de la communauté bactérienne

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Research Council Canada, Biotechnology Research Institute, 6100 Royalmount Avenue, Montréal, QC H4P 2R2, Canada. 2: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, P.O. Box 1006, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2, Canada.

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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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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