Dominant microbial populations in limestone-corroding stream biofilms, Frasassi cave system, Italy

Jennifer L. Macalady, Ezra H. Lyon, Bess Koffman, Lindsey K. Albertson, Katja Meyer, Sandro Galdenzi, Sandro Mariani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

134 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Waters from an extensive sulfide-rich aquifer emerge in the Frasassi cave system, where they mix with oxygen-rich percolating water and cave air over a large surface area. The actively forming cave complex hosts a microbial community, including conspicuous white biofilms coating surfaces in cave streams, that is isolated from surface sources of C and N. Two distinct biofilm morphologies were observed in the streams over a 4-year period. Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from samples of each biofilm type collected from Grotta Sulfurea in 2002. β-, γ-, δ-, and ε-proteobacteria in sulfur-cycling clades accounted for ≥75% of clones in both biofilms. Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-disproportionating δ-proteobacterial sequences in the clone libraries were abundant and diverse (34% of phylotypes). Biofilm samples of both types were later collected at the same location and at an additional sample site in Ramo Sulfureo and examined, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The biomass of all six stream biofilms was dominated by filamentous γ-proteobacteria with Beggiatoa-like and/or Thiothrix-like cells containing abundant sulfur inclusions. The biomass of ε- proteobacteria detected using FISH was consistently small, ranging from 0 to less than 15% of the total biomass. Our results suggest that S cycling within the stream biofilms is an important feature of the cave biogeochemistry. Such cycling represents positive biological feedback to sulfuric acid speleogenesis and related processes that create subsurface porosity in carbonate rocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5596-5609
Number of pages14
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume72
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

Fingerprint

cave system
Calcium Carbonate
Biofilms
caves
limestone
biofilm
Italy
Proteobacteria
cave
Population
Sulfur
Biomass
sulfur
fluorescence in situ hybridization
Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization
Thiothrix
Beggiatoa
clone
biomass
fluorescence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

Cite this

Macalady, Jennifer L. ; Lyon, Ezra H. ; Koffman, Bess ; Albertson, Lindsey K. ; Meyer, Katja ; Galdenzi, Sandro ; Mariani, Sandro. / Dominant microbial populations in limestone-corroding stream biofilms, Frasassi cave system, Italy. In: Applied and environmental microbiology. 2006 ; Vol. 72, No. 8. pp. 5596-5609.
@article{f32309e281464ecc9d9cf23fe506ad59,
title = "Dominant microbial populations in limestone-corroding stream biofilms, Frasassi cave system, Italy",
abstract = "Waters from an extensive sulfide-rich aquifer emerge in the Frasassi cave system, where they mix with oxygen-rich percolating water and cave air over a large surface area. The actively forming cave complex hosts a microbial community, including conspicuous white biofilms coating surfaces in cave streams, that is isolated from surface sources of C and N. Two distinct biofilm morphologies were observed in the streams over a 4-year period. Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from samples of each biofilm type collected from Grotta Sulfurea in 2002. β-, γ-, δ-, and ε-proteobacteria in sulfur-cycling clades accounted for ≥75{\%} of clones in both biofilms. Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-disproportionating δ-proteobacterial sequences in the clone libraries were abundant and diverse (34{\%} of phylotypes). Biofilm samples of both types were later collected at the same location and at an additional sample site in Ramo Sulfureo and examined, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The biomass of all six stream biofilms was dominated by filamentous γ-proteobacteria with Beggiatoa-like and/or Thiothrix-like cells containing abundant sulfur inclusions. The biomass of ε- proteobacteria detected using FISH was consistently small, ranging from 0 to less than 15{\%} of the total biomass. Our results suggest that S cycling within the stream biofilms is an important feature of the cave biogeochemistry. Such cycling represents positive biological feedback to sulfuric acid speleogenesis and related processes that create subsurface porosity in carbonate rocks.",
author = "Macalady, {Jennifer L.} and Lyon, {Ezra H.} and Bess Koffman and Albertson, {Lindsey K.} and Katja Meyer and Sandro Galdenzi and Sandro Mariani",
year = "2006",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1128/AEM.00715-06",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "72",
pages = "5596--5609",
journal = "Applied and Environmental Microbiology",
issn = "0099-2240",
publisher = "American Society for Microbiology",
number = "8",

}

Dominant microbial populations in limestone-corroding stream biofilms, Frasassi cave system, Italy. / Macalady, Jennifer L.; Lyon, Ezra H.; Koffman, Bess; Albertson, Lindsey K.; Meyer, Katja; Galdenzi, Sandro; Mariani, Sandro.

In: Applied and environmental microbiology, Vol. 72, No. 8, 01.08.2006, p. 5596-5609.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dominant microbial populations in limestone-corroding stream biofilms, Frasassi cave system, Italy

AU - Macalady, Jennifer L.

AU - Lyon, Ezra H.

AU - Koffman, Bess

AU - Albertson, Lindsey K.

AU - Meyer, Katja

AU - Galdenzi, Sandro

AU - Mariani, Sandro

PY - 2006/8/1

Y1 - 2006/8/1

N2 - Waters from an extensive sulfide-rich aquifer emerge in the Frasassi cave system, where they mix with oxygen-rich percolating water and cave air over a large surface area. The actively forming cave complex hosts a microbial community, including conspicuous white biofilms coating surfaces in cave streams, that is isolated from surface sources of C and N. Two distinct biofilm morphologies were observed in the streams over a 4-year period. Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from samples of each biofilm type collected from Grotta Sulfurea in 2002. β-, γ-, δ-, and ε-proteobacteria in sulfur-cycling clades accounted for ≥75% of clones in both biofilms. Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-disproportionating δ-proteobacterial sequences in the clone libraries were abundant and diverse (34% of phylotypes). Biofilm samples of both types were later collected at the same location and at an additional sample site in Ramo Sulfureo and examined, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The biomass of all six stream biofilms was dominated by filamentous γ-proteobacteria with Beggiatoa-like and/or Thiothrix-like cells containing abundant sulfur inclusions. The biomass of ε- proteobacteria detected using FISH was consistently small, ranging from 0 to less than 15% of the total biomass. Our results suggest that S cycling within the stream biofilms is an important feature of the cave biogeochemistry. Such cycling represents positive biological feedback to sulfuric acid speleogenesis and related processes that create subsurface porosity in carbonate rocks.

AB - Waters from an extensive sulfide-rich aquifer emerge in the Frasassi cave system, where they mix with oxygen-rich percolating water and cave air over a large surface area. The actively forming cave complex hosts a microbial community, including conspicuous white biofilms coating surfaces in cave streams, that is isolated from surface sources of C and N. Two distinct biofilm morphologies were observed in the streams over a 4-year period. Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from samples of each biofilm type collected from Grotta Sulfurea in 2002. β-, γ-, δ-, and ε-proteobacteria in sulfur-cycling clades accounted for ≥75% of clones in both biofilms. Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-disproportionating δ-proteobacterial sequences in the clone libraries were abundant and diverse (34% of phylotypes). Biofilm samples of both types were later collected at the same location and at an additional sample site in Ramo Sulfureo and examined, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The biomass of all six stream biofilms was dominated by filamentous γ-proteobacteria with Beggiatoa-like and/or Thiothrix-like cells containing abundant sulfur inclusions. The biomass of ε- proteobacteria detected using FISH was consistently small, ranging from 0 to less than 15% of the total biomass. Our results suggest that S cycling within the stream biofilms is an important feature of the cave biogeochemistry. Such cycling represents positive biological feedback to sulfuric acid speleogenesis and related processes that create subsurface porosity in carbonate rocks.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33747369622&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33747369622&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1128/AEM.00715-06

DO - 10.1128/AEM.00715-06

M3 - Article

C2 - 16885314

AN - SCOPUS:33747369622

VL - 72

SP - 5596

EP - 5609

JO - Applied and Environmental Microbiology

JF - Applied and Environmental Microbiology

SN - 0099-2240

IS - 8

ER -