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Molecular characterization of hot spring cyanobacteria and evaluation of their photoprotective compounds

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Phylogenetic analysis of 4 cyanobacterial strains isolated from hot springs in Rajgir, India, was carried out using the 16S rRNA gene (1400 bp). These strains were identified as members of Chroococcales (Cyanothece sp. strain HKAR-1) and Nostocales (Nostoc sp. strain HKAR-2, Scytonema sp. strain HKAR-3, and Rivularia sp. strain HKAR-4). Furthermore, we evaluated the presence of ultraviolet-screening and (or) photoprotective compounds, such as mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) and scytonemin, in these cyanobacteria by using high-performance liquid chromatography. Well-characterized MAAs, including the critical and highly polar compounds shinorine, porphyra-334, and mycosporine-glycine, as well as several unknown MAAs, were found in these hot-spring-inhabiting microorganisms. The presence of scytonemin was detected only in Scytonema sp. strain HKAR-3 and Rivularia sp. strain HKAR-4. The results indicate that hot spring cyanobacteria, namely Cyanothece, Nostoc, Scytonema, and Rivularia, belonging to different groups possess various photoprotective compounds to cope up with the negative impacts of damaging radiations.

Keywords: 16S rRNA sequencing; PCR; acides aminés semblables à la mycosporine; cyanobacteria; cyanobactéries; mycosporine-like amino acids; scytonemin; scytonémine; séquençage de l’ARNr 16S

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Photobiology and Molecular Microbiology, Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India. 2: Division of Life Science, University of Incheon, Incheon-406-840, Republic of Korea.

Publication date: 2012-06-09

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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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