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Diversity 2017, 9(3), 36;

In Situ Cultured Bacterial Diversity from Iron Curtain Cave, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Thompson Rivers University, 900 McGill Road, Kamloops, BC V2C 08C, Canada
Chilliwack River Valley Cavers, Yarrow Station Main, P.O. Box 4023, Chilliwack, BC V2R 5H8, Canada
Bio-Imaging Facility, University of British Columbia, RM 64 George Cunningham Building, 2146 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: LifeLabs, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 7455, 130th Street, Surrey, BC V3W1H8, Canada.
Current address: Department of Biology, Biological Science Building, University of British Columbia, 6270 University Blvd, University Endowment Lands, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Diversity in Caves)
PDF [7754 KB, uploaded 29 August 2017]


The culturable bacterial diversity from Iron Curtain Cave, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada was examined. Sixty five bacterial isolates were successfully cultivated, purified, and identified based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Four distinguishable phyla, i.e., Actinobacteria (44.61%), Proteobacteria (27.69%), Firmicutes (20%) and Bacteroidetes (7.69%) were identified. Arthrobacter (21.53%) was identified as the major genus, followed by Sporosarcina (9.23%), Stenotrophomonas (9.23%), Streptomyces (6.15%), Brevundimonas (4.61%), and Crocebacterium (2.8%). Noteworthy, 12.3% of the population was recognized as unidentified bacteria. The isolates were evaluated for their potential antimicrobial activities against multidrug resistant microbial strains. Two species of the genus Streptomyces exhibited a wide range of antimicrobial activities against multidrug resistance (MDR) strains of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas spp. along with non-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. However, all of the antimicrobial activities were only observed when the isolates were grown at 8 °C in different media. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study conducted on the Iron Curtain Cave’s bacterial diversity, and reveals some bacterial isolates that have never been reported from a cave. Bacterial isolates identified with antimicrobial properties demonstrated that the Iron Curtain Cave can be further considered as a potential habitat for antimicrobial agents. View Full-Text
Keywords: cave characteristics; cave bacterial diversity; 16S rRNA gene; antimicrobial activities cave characteristics; cave bacterial diversity; 16S rRNA gene; antimicrobial activities

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ghosh, S.; Paine, E.; Wall, R.; Kam, G.; Lauriente, T.; Sa-ngarmangkang, P.-C.; Horne, D.; Cheeptham, N. In Situ Cultured Bacterial Diversity from Iron Curtain Cave, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. Diversity 2017, 9, 36.

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