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Microorganisms 2019, 7(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7020033

Cave Drip Water-Related Samples as a Natural Environment for Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria

1
Department of Biological Sciences, State University of Santa Cruz, Rod. Jorge Amado, Km 16, Ilheus CEP 45662-900, Brazil
2
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, State University of Santa Cruz, Rod. Jorge Amado, Km 16, Ilheus CEP 45662-900, Brazil
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Subsurface Geomicrobiology)
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Abstract

Restricted contact with the external environment has allowed the development of microbial communities adapted to the oligotrophy of caves. However, nutrients can be transported to caves by drip water and affect the microbial communities inside the cave. To evaluate the influence of aromatic compounds carried by drip water on the microbial community, two limestone caves were selected in Brazil. Drip-water-saturated and unsaturated sediment, and dripping water itself, were collected from each cave and bacterial 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of naphthalene dioxygenase (ndo) genes were performed. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) were performed to evaluate inorganic nutrients, and GC was performed to estimate aromatic compounds in the samples. The high frequency of Sphingomonadaceae in drip water samples indicates the presence of aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria. This finding was consistent with the detection of naphthalene and acenaphthene and the presence of ndo genes in drip-water-related samples. The aromatic compounds, aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria and 16S rDNA sequencing indicate that aromatic compounds may be one of the sources of energy and carbon to the system and the drip-water-associated bacterial community contains several potentially aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to present compelling evidence for the presence of aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in cave drip water. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sphingomonadales; microorganisms; ndo gene; naphthalene; NGS; Illumina; 16S rDNA Sphingomonadales; microorganisms; ndo gene; naphthalene; NGS; Illumina; 16S rDNA
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Marques, E.L.S.; Silva, G.S.; Dias, J.C.T.; Gross, E.; Costa, M.S.; Rezende, R.P. Cave Drip Water-Related Samples as a Natural Environment for Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 33.

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