eCite Digital Repository

Sublithic bacteria associated with Antarctic quartz stones

Citation

Smith, MC and Bowman, JP and Scott, FJ and Line, MA, Sublithic bacteria associated with Antarctic quartz stones, Antarctic Science, 12, (2) pp. 177-184. ISSN 0954-1020 (2000) [Refereed Article]

Abstract

Quartz stone sublithic cyanobacterial communities are common throughout the Vestfold Hills, Eastern Antarctica (68°S 78°E) contributing biomass in areas otherwise devoid of any type of vegetation. In this study, the sublithic microbial community and underlying soil was investigated using a variety of traditional and molecular methods. Although direct epifluorescent counts of the sublithic growth (average 1.1 x 109 cells g-1 dry weight) and underlying soil (0.5 x 109 cells g-1 dry weight) were similar, sublith viable counts (2.1 x 107 cfu g-1 dry weight) were on average 3-orders of magnitude higher in the subliths. Enrichment and molecular analyses revealed the predominate cyanobacteria were non-halophilic, able to grow optimally at 15-20°C, and were related to the Phormidium subgroup with several distinct morphotypes and phylotypes present. Sublithic heterotrophic bacterial populations and those of underlying soils included mostly psychrotolerant taxa typical of Antarctic soil. However, psychrophilic and halophilic bacteria, mostly members of the alpha subdivision of the Proteobacteria and the order Cytophagales, were abundant in the sublithic growth film (20-40% of the viable count and about 50% of isolated individual taxa) but absent from underlying soils. It is suggested that quartz stone subliths might constitute a 'refuge' for psychrophilic bacteria.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Author:Smith, MC (Mr Matthew Smith)
Author:Bowman, JP (Associate Professor John Bowman)
Author:Line, MA (Dr Martin Line)
ID Code:18747
Year Published:2000
Web of Science® Times Cited:55
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2000-08-01
Last Modified:2001-03-19
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page