Increased Abundance Of Gallionella Spp., Leptothrix Spp. And Total Bacteria In Response To Enhanced Mn And Fe Concentrations In A Disturbed Southern Appalachian High Elevation Wetland

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanna Brauer Ph.D., Associate Professor (Creator)
Mary Jane Carmichael (Creator)
Ece Karatan Ph.D., Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: The Sorrento wetland hosts several Fe- and Mn-rich seeps that are reported to have appeared after the area was disturbed by recent attempts at development. Culture-independent and culture-based analyses were utilized to characterize the microbial community at the main site of the Fe and Mn seep. Several bacteria capable of oxidizing Mn(II) were isolated, including members related to the genera Bacillus, Lysinibacillus, Pseudomonas, and Leptothrix,but none of these were detected in clone libraries. Most probable number assays demonstrated that seep and wetland sites contained higher numbers of culturable Mn-oxidizing microorganisms than an upstream reference site. When compared with quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) assays of total bacteria, MPN analyses indicated that less than 0.01% of the total population (estimated around 109 cells/g) was culturable. Light microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) images revealed an abundance of morphotypes similar to Fe- and Mn-oxidizing Leptothrixspp. and Gallionella spp. in seep and wetland sites. FISH allowed identification of Leptothrix-type sheath-forming organisms in seep samples but not in reference samples. Gallionella spp. and Leptothrixspp. cells numbers were estimated using qPCR with a novel primer set that we designed. Results indicated that numbers of Gallionella,Leptothrix or total bacteria were all significantly higher at the seep site relative to the reference site (where Gallionella was below detection). Interestingly, numbers of Leptothrix in the seep site were estimated at only 107 cells/g and were not statistically different in the late summer versus the late winter, despite dramatic changes in sheath abundance (as indicated by microscopy). qPCRalso indicated that Gallionella spp. may represent up to 10% (3 ×108 cells/g) of the total bacteria in seep samples. These data corroborate clone library data from samples taken in October 2008, where 11 SSU rRNA sequences related to Gallionella spp. were detected out of 77 total sequences (roughly 10–15%), and where Leptothrix sequences were not detected. Analysis of this SSU rRNA clonal library revealed that a diverse microbial community was present at seep sites. At a 3%difference cutoff, 30 different operational taxonomic units were detected out of 77 sequences analyzed. Dominant sequence types clustered among the beta- and gamma- Proteobacteria near sequences related to the genera Ideonella, Rhodoferax,Methylotenera, Methylobacter, andGallionella.Overall, results suggest that high metal concentrations at the seep sites have enriched for Fe- and Mn-oxidizing bacteria including organisms related to Gallionella and Leptothrix species, and that members of these genera coexist within a diverse microbial community.

Additional Information

Johnson KW, Carmichael Mary J., McDonald W, Rose N , Pitchford J, Windelspecht M, Karatan E, and Bräuer Suzanna L. (2012). “Increased Abundance Of Gallionella Spp., Leptothrix Spp. And Total Bacteria In Response To Enhanced Mn And Fe Concentrations In A Disturbed Southern Appalachian High Elevation Wetland.” Geomicrobiology Journal, 29(2):124–138. [ISSN: 0149-0451] [DOI 10.1080/01490451.2011.558557] Version Of Record Available From
Language: English
Date: 2012
bacteria, wetland, manganese oxidation

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