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Molecular Characterization of Aquatic Bacterial Communities in Dinaric Range Caves

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Dinaric limestone cave systems, recognized as a hotspot of subterranean biodiversity, inhabit composite microbial communities whose structure, function and importance to ecosystems was poorly considered until the last few years. Filamentous microbial biofilms from three caves in Dinaric karst were assessed using 16S rRNA-based phylogenetic approach combined with universally protein coding genes/proteins. Studied clone libraries shared divisions but phylogenetic distribution of the obtained phylotypes differed: in Veternica and Vjetrenica clone libraries, Nitrospirae prevailed with 36% and 60% respectively, while in Izvor Bistrac the most abundant were Alphaproteobacteria (41%) followed by Firmicutes (32%). Moreover, three phylotypes were associated with novel uncultured candidate divisions OP3, WS5 and OD1 revealing the diversity and uniqueness of the microbial world in caves. Deeply understanding subterranean habitats could elucidate many new aspects in phylogeny and evolution of microorganisms as well as animal taxa, adjacent to their energy suppliers in microbial communities and biofilms.
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Keywords: 16S-rRNA genes; Dinarides; bacterial communities; karst; subterranean habitats

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Molecular Biology, Ruđer Bošsković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

Publication date: 01 July 2016

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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