Project description:Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene segments was used to profile microbial populations inhabiting different temperature regions in the microbial mat community of Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park. DGGE allowed a rapid evaluation of the distributions of amplifiable sequence types. Profiles were essentially identical within regions of the mat defined by one temperature range but varied between sites with different temperature ranges. Individual DGGE bands were sequenced, and the sequences were compared with those previously obtained from the mat by cloning and from cultivated Octopus Spring isolates. Two known cyanobacterial populations and one known green nonsulfur bacterium-like population were detected by DGGE, as were many new cyanobacterial and green nonsulfur and green sulfur bacterium-like populations and a novel bacterial population of uncertain phylogenetic affiliation. The distributions of several cyanobacterial populations compared favorably with results obtained previously by oligonucleotide probe analyses and suggest that adaptation to temperature has occurred among cyanobacteria which are phylogenetically very similar.
Project description:Recent molecular studies have shown a great disparity between naturally occurring and cultivated microorganisms. We investigated the basis for disparity by studying thermophilic unicellular cyanobacteria whose morphologic simplicity suggested that a single cosmopolitan species exists in hot spring microbial mats worldwide. We found that partial 16S rRNA sequences for all thermophilic Synechococcus culture collection strains from diverse habitats are identical. Through oligonucleotide probe analysis and cultivation, we provide evidence that this species is strongly selected for in laboratory culture to the exclusion of many more-predominant cyanobacterial species coexisting in the Octopus Spring mat in Yellowstone National Park. The phylogenetic diversity among Octopus Spring cyanobacteria is of similar magnitude to that exhibited by all cyanobacteria so far investigated. We obtained axenic isolates of two predominant cyanobacterial species by diluting inocula prior to enrichment. One isolate has a 16S rRNA sequence we have not yet detected by cloning. The other has a 16S rRNA sequence identical to a new cloned sequence we report herein. This is the first cultivated species whose 16S rRNA sequence has been detected in this mat system by cloning. We infer that biodiversity within this community is linked to guild structure.