Special Issue "Microbial Diversity in Extreme Environments: Implications for Ecological and Applicative Perspectives"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Microbial Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Angelina Lo Giudice

Institute for the Biological Resources and the Marine Biotechnologies (IRBIM-CNR), Spianata San Raineri 86, 98122 Messina, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: microbial ecology in polar systems; microbial biotechnology; biodiversity and biotechnological applications of bacteria from polar environments; prokaryotic communities associated with filter-feeding benthic organisms
Guest Editor
Prof. Concetta Gugliandolo

Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, V.le F. Stagno d’Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: microbial ecology, geomicrobiology and applied microbiology in hot (deserts and hallow hydrothermal vents) and cold polar environments, aiming at taxonomic aspects, spatial patterns in microbial communities, relationship of microbial community structure and function, as well as research into novel biomolecules of interest to biotechnology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are inviting you to consider submitting a manuscript to Diversity for a Special Issue on “Microbial Diversity in Extreme Environments: implications for ecological and applicative perspectives”. Extreme environmental niches are characterized by physical and chemical conditions (e.g., low or high temperatures, high ionic strength and/or pressure, lack of sunlight, absence of water, low or high pH values, high level of radiation) that, alone or in combination, are hard to tolerate for most known life forms. Such hostile environments are inhabited by extremophiles (e.g., psychrophiles and thermophiles, halophiles, acidophiles and alkalophiles, piezophiles) that are able to not only survive, but also thrive in different ecosystems thanks to the development of adaptation strategies, involving diverse structural, physiological and metabolic modifications, and also symbiotic associations. Are these life forms adapted to or unique to extreme environments? The application of modern advanced techniques in molecular biology is revealing unexpected high levels of microbial diversity and complexity in extreme environments. Extreme environments represent natural laboratories to investigate the effects of climate changes on the biota and microbiota. Searching for novel extremophiles is largely stimulating the industry’s interest, as molecules from these microorganisms could be transformed into valuable biotechnological compounds.

For this Special Issue, we are looking for experimental studies, reviews, and distributional surveys relating to any aspect of microbial diversity, including the origin of life, ecology, astrobiology, molecular biology, physiology, and biotechnology, related to eukaryotes and prokaryotes in extreme environments. This Special Issue also serves as a memorial to Dr. Luigi Michaud (1974–2014), in recognition of his passion for and contribution to the microbiology of extreme environments.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dr. Angelina Lo Giudice
Prof. Concetta Gugliandolo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 850 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biotecnonological potentialities
  • Community analysis
  • Community structure and functions
  • Eco-functional diversity of extremophilic microbes in extreme aquatic and terrestrial niches
  • Extremophilic bacteria, archaea and microeukaryotes
  • Microbial life in extreme environments

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Elevated CO2 Levels on the Soil Bacterial Community in a Natural CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery Area
Diversity 2019, 11(5), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11050077
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
Knowledge of the interactions among different microorganisms is important to understand how ecological function transformation is affected by elevated CO2 levels in CO2-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) sites. Molecular ecological networks were established to reveal the interactions among different [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the interactions among different microorganisms is important to understand how ecological function transformation is affected by elevated CO2 levels in CO2-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) sites. Molecular ecological networks were established to reveal the interactions among different microbes of the soil bacterial community with the high-throughput sequencing data of 16S rRNA genes. The results showed that these networks are a powerful tool to identify and explain the interactions and keystone species in the communities under elevated CO2 pressure. The structures of networks under different CO2 leakage concentrations were different as a result of the networks’ topology properties, such as node numbers, topological roles of individual nodes, and network hubs. These indicators imply that the interactions among different groups were obviously changed. Moreover, changes in the network structure were significantly correlated with soil pH value, which might suggest that the large CO2 leakage affected the soil ecosystem functions by changing the network interactions. Additionally, the key microbial populations such as Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria were distinguished based on network topology to reveal community structure and ecosystem functioning. The work developed in this study could help microbiologists to address some research questions that could not be approached previously, and, hence, might represent a new area of research for microbial ecology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Polyextreme Ecosystem, Salar de Huasco at the Chilean Altiplano of the Atacama Desert Houses Diverse Streptomyces spp. with Promising Pharmaceutical Potentials
Diversity 2019, 11(5), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11050069
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
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Abstract
Salar de Huasco at the Chilean Altiplano of the Atacama Desert is considered a polyextreme environment, where solar radiation, salinity and aridity are extremely high and occur simultaneously. In this study, a total of 76 bacterial isolates were discovered from soil samples collected [...] Read more.
Salar de Huasco at the Chilean Altiplano of the Atacama Desert is considered a polyextreme environment, where solar radiation, salinity and aridity are extremely high and occur simultaneously. In this study, a total of 76 bacterial isolates were discovered from soil samples collected at two different sites in the east shoreline of Salar de Huasco, including H0 (base camp next to freshwater stream in the north part) and H6 (saline soils in the south part). All isolated bacteria were preliminarily identified using some of their phenotypic and genotypic data into the genera Streptomyces (86%), Nocardiopsis (9%), Micromonospora (3%), Bacillus (1%), and Pseudomonas (1%). Streptomyces was found dominantly in both sites (H0 = 19 isolates and H6 = 46 isolates), while the other genera were found only in site H0 (11 isolates). Based on the genotypic and phylogenetic analyses using the 16S rRNA gene sequences of all Streptomyces isolates, 18% (12 isolates) revealed <98.7% identity of the gene sequences compared to those in the publicly available databases and were determined as highly possibly novel species. Further studies suggested that many Streptomyces isolates possess the nonribosomal peptide synthetases-coding gene, and some of which could inhibit growth of at least two test microbes (i.e., Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi) and showed also the cytotoxicity against hepatocellular carcinoma and or mouse fibroblast cell lines. The antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity of these Streptomyces isolates were highly dependent upon the nutrients used for their cultivation. Moreover, the HPLC-UV-MS profiles of metabolites produced by the selected Streptomyces isolates unveiled apparent differences when compared to the public database of existing natural products. With our findings, the polyextreme environments like Salar de Huasco are promising sources for exploring novel and valuable bacteria with pharmaceutical potentials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prokaryotic Dynamics in the Meromictic Coastal Lake Faro (Sicily, Italy)
Diversity 2019, 11(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11030037
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
Lake Faro, in the North-Eastern corner of Sicily (Italy), shows the typical stratification of a meromictic tempered basin, with a clear identification of the mixolimnion and the monimolimnion, separated by an interfacial chemocline. In this study, an annual-scaled study on the space-time distribution [...] Read more.
Lake Faro, in the North-Eastern corner of Sicily (Italy), shows the typical stratification of a meromictic tempered basin, with a clear identification of the mixolimnion and the monimolimnion, separated by an interfacial chemocline. In this study, an annual-scaled study on the space-time distribution of the microbial communities in water samples of Lake Faro was performed by both ARISA (Amplified Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis) and CARD-FISH (Catalyzed Reporter Deposition-Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization) approaches. A correlation between microbial parameters and both environmental variables (i.e., temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, redox potential, salinity, chlorophyll-a) and mixing conditions was highlighted, with an evident seasonal variability. The most significative differences were detected by ARISA between the mixolimnion and the monimolimnion, and between Spring and Autumn, by considering layer and season as a factor, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Biogeography of Great Salt Lake Halophilic Archaea: Testing the Hypothesis of Avian Mechanical Carriers
Diversity 2018, 10(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040124
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
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Abstract
Halophilic archaea inhabit hypersaline ecosystems globally, and genetically similar strains have been found in locales that are geographically isolated from one another. We sought to test the hypothesis that small salt crystals harboring halophilic archaea could be carried on bird feathers and that [...] Read more.
Halophilic archaea inhabit hypersaline ecosystems globally, and genetically similar strains have been found in locales that are geographically isolated from one another. We sought to test the hypothesis that small salt crystals harboring halophilic archaea could be carried on bird feathers and that bird migration is a driving force of these distributions. In this study, we discovered that the American White Pelicans (AWPE) at Great Salt Lake soak in the hypersaline brine and accumulate salt crystals (halite) on their feathers. We cultured halophilic archaea from AWPE feathers and halite crystals. The microorganisms isolated from the lakeshore crystals were restricted to two genera: Halorubrum and Haloarcula, however, archaea from the feathers were strictly Haloarcula. We compared partial DNA sequence of the 16S rRNA gene from our cultivars with that of similar strains in the GenBank database. To understand the biogeography of genetically similar halophilic archaea, we studied the geographical locations of the sampling sites of the closest-matched species. An analysis of the environmental factors of each site pointed to salinity as the most important factor for selection. The geography of the sites was consistent with the location of the sub-tropical jet stream where birds typically migrate, supporting the avian dispersal hypothesis. Full article
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