Researchers from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Biomedical Research Centre Network (CIBER) in Epidemiology and Public Health studied the structure of the bacterial community in four types of environments in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park in Ciudad Real, Spain. These were the aquatic environment, the first few centimetres of sediment representing the interface between water and sediment (superficial sediment), deeper sediment (lower sediment), and the biofilms that grow on the areas bordering the water and non-inundated soil.
"This semiarid wetland is home to a high diversity of bacterial groups, with relatively low dominance values, which indicates a good division between the various taxonomic groups found", Giuseppe D'Auria, lead author of the study and a researcher at the UV's Cavanilles Institute for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology.
According to the study published in the journal Aquatic Microbial Ecology, the four environments studied reveal similarities and differences: "the water sample is more similar to that of the water-sediment interface (upper sediment), while the biofilm sample is more similar to that of the deeper sediment".
The results also show a high number of still unknown sequences, which were found in all the samples analysed, making the Tablas de Daimiel "a reservoir for bacterial biodiversity and of key importance in maintaining it", the scientist explains.
265 new phylum groups
The researchers extracted the total DNA contained in the samples. Using molecular biology techniques, they obtained the DNA sequences of a bacterial gene called 16S, which represents a kind of signature or label for each bacterium. "Bioinformatic analysis enabled us to draw up profiles of the bacterial distributions in each environment studied", explains D'Auria.
By comparing the sequences found with those of international bacterial diversity databases, the team managed to
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology