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      Microbial Diversity in Caves

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      Geomicrobiology Journal

      Informa UK Limited

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          Towards a natural system of organisms: proposal for the domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya.

          Molecular structures and sequences are generally more revealing of evolutionary relationships than are classical phenotypes (particularly so among microorganisms). Consequently, the basis for the definition of taxa has progressively shifted from the organismal to the cellular to the molecular level. Molecular comparisons show that life on this planet divides into three primary groupings, commonly known as the eubacteria, the archaebacteria, and the eukaryotes. The three are very dissimilar, the differences that separate them being of a more profound nature than the differences that separate typical kingdoms, such as animals and plants. Unfortunately, neither of the conventionally accepted views of the natural relationships among living systems--i.e., the five-kingdom taxonomy or the eukaryote-prokaryote dichotomy--reflects this primary tripartite division of the living world. To remedy this situation we propose that a formal system of organisms be established in which above the level of kingdom there exists a new taxon called a "domain." Life on this planet would then be seen as comprising three domains, the Bacteria, the Archaea, and the Eucarya, each containing two or more kingdoms. (The Eucarya, for example, contain Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, and a number of others yet to be defined). Although taxonomic structure within the Bacteria and Eucarya is not treated herein, Archaea is formally subdivided into the two kingdoms Euryarchaeota (encompassing the methanogens and their phenotypically diverse relatives) and Crenarchaeota (comprising the relatively tight clustering of extremely thermophilic archaebacteria, whose general phenotype appears to resemble most the ancestral phenotype of the Archaea.
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            Community structure and metabolism through reconstruction of microbial genomes from the environment.

            Microbial communities are vital in the functioning of all ecosystems; however, most microorganisms are uncultivated, and their roles in natural systems are unclear. Here, using random shotgun sequencing of DNA from a natural acidophilic biofilm, we report reconstruction of near-complete genomes of Leptospirillum group II and Ferroplasma type II, and partial recovery of three other genomes. This was possible because the biofilm was dominated by a small number of species populations and the frequency of genomic rearrangements and gene insertions or deletions was relatively low. Because each sequence read came from a different individual, we could determine that single-nucleotide polymorphisms are the predominant form of heterogeneity at the strain level. The Leptospirillum group II genome had remarkably few nucleotide polymorphisms, despite the existence of low-abundance variants. The Ferroplasma type II genome seems to be a composite from three ancestral strains that have undergone homologous recombination to form a large population of mosaic genomes. Analysis of the gene complement for each organism revealed the pathways for carbon and nitrogen fixation and energy generation, and provided insights into survival strategies in an extreme environment.
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              Microbial diversity and function in soil: from genes to ecosystems.

              Soils sustain an immense diversity of microbes, which, to a large extent, remains unexplored. A range of novel methods, most of which are based on rRNA and rDNA analyses, have uncovered part of the soil microbial diversity. The next step in the era of microbial ecology is to extract genomic, evolutionary and functional information from bacterial artificial chromosome libraries of the soil community genomes (the metagenome). Sophisticated analyses that apply molecular phylogenetics, DNA microarrays, functional genomics and in situ activity measurements will provide huge amounts of new data, potentially increasing our understanding of the structure and function of soil microbial ecosystems, and the interactions that occur within them. This review summarizes the recent progress in studies of soil microbial communities with focus on novel methods and approaches that provide new insight into the relationship between phylogenetic and functional diversity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Geomicrobiology Journal
                Geomicrobiology Journal
                Informa UK Limited
                0149-0451
                1521-0529
                April 02 2015
                April 02 2015
                : 33
                : 1
                : 20-38
                10.1080/01490451.2014.1003341
                © 2015

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