Phylogenetic Diversity of Bacteria in an Earth-Cave in Guizhou Province, Southwest of China

JunPei Zhou
Changsong Zou
YingQi Gu

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The objective of this study was to analyze the phylogenetic composition of bacterial community in the soil of an earth-cave (Niu Cave) using a culture-independent molecular approach. 16S rRNA genes were amplified directly from soil DNA with universally conserved and Bacteria-specific rRNA gene primers and cloned. The clone library was screened by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), and representative rRNA gene sequences were determined. A total of 115 bacterial sequence types were found in 190 analyzed clones. Phylogenetic sequence analyses revealed novel 16S rRNA gene sequence types and a high diversity of putative bacterial community. Members of these bacteria included Proteobacteria (42.6%), Acidobacteria (18.6%), Planctomycetes (9.0%), Chloroflexi (Green nonsulfur bacteria, 7.5%), Bacteroidetes (2.1%), Gemmatimonadetes (2.7%), Nitrospirae (8.0%), Actinobacteria (High G+C Gram-positive bacteria, 6.4%) and candidate divisions (including the OP3, GN08, and SBR1093, 3.2%). Thirty-five clones were affiliated with bacteria that were related to nitrogen, sulfur, iron or manganese cycles. The comparison of the present data with the data obtained previously from caves based on 16S rRNA gene analysis revealed similarities in the bacterial community components, especially in the high abundance of Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria. Furthermore, this study provided the novel evidence for presence of Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrosomonadales, Oceanospirillales, and Rubrobacterales in a karstic hypogean environment.