Molecular analyses of microbial diversity associated with the Lonar soda lake in India: an impact crater in a basalt area.Res Microbiol. 2006 Dec; 157(10):928-37.RM
The prokaryotic diversity associated with an Indian soda lake (Lonar Crater Lake) located in a basaltic soil area was investigated using a culture-independent approach. Community DNA was extracted directly from four sediment samples obtained by coring to depths of 10-20 cm. Small subunit rRNA genes (16S rDNA) were amplified by PCR using primers specific to the domains Bacteria and Archaea. The PCR products were cloned and sequenced. For the bacterial rDNA clone library, 500 clones were randomly selected for further analysis. After restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and subsequent sequencing, a total of 44 unique phylotypes were obtained. These phylotypes spanned a wide range within the domain Bacteria, occupying eight major lineages/phyla. 34% of the clones were classified as firmicutes. The other clones were grouped into proteobacteria (29.5%), actinobacteria (6.8%), deinococcus-thermus (4.5%), cytophages-flavobacterium-bacteroidetes (13.3%), planctomycetes (6.8%), cyanobacteria (4.5%) and spirochetes (2.27%). In the case of the archaeal 16S rDNA library, analysis of 250 randomly selected clones revealed the presence of 13 distinct phylotypes; 5 phylotypes were associated with Crenarchaeota and 8 with Euryarchaeota. Most of the euryarchaeota sequences were related to methanogens. Findings from this molecular study of a site investigated for the first time have revealed the presence of a highly diverse bacterial population and a comparatively less diverse archaeal population. The majority (approximately 80%) of the cloned sequences show little affiliation with known taxa (<97% sequence similarity) and may represent novel taxa/sequences and organisms specifically adapted to this basaltic soda lake environment. Diversity analyses demonstrate greater diversity and evenness of bacterial species compared to a skewed representation of species for Archaea.