Research Article

Identification of actinomycete communities in Antarctic soil from Barrientos Island using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis

Published: February 08, 2012
Genet. Mol. Res. 11 (1) : 277-291 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2012.February.8.3
Cite this Article:
(2012). Identification of actinomycete communities in Antarctic soil from Barrientos Island using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Genet. Mol. Res. 11(1): gmr1348. https://doi.org/10.4238/2012.February.8.3
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Abstract

The diversity of specific bacteria taxa, such as the actinomycetes, has not been reported from the Antarctic island of Barrientos. The diversity of actinomycetes was estimated with two different strategies that use PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. First, a PCR was applied, using a group-specific primer that allows selective amplification of actinomycete sequences. Second, a nested-PCR approach was used that allows the estimation of the relative abundance of actinomycetes within the bacterial community. Molecular identification, which was based on 16S rDNA sequence analysis, revealed eight genera of actinomycetes, Actinobacterium, Actinomyces, an uncultured Actinomycete, Streptomyces, Leifsonia, Frankineae, Rhodococcus, and Mycobacterium. The uncultured Actinomyces sp and Rhodococcus sp appear to be the prominent genera of actinomycetes in Barrientos Island soil. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis patterns were used to look for correlations between actinomycete abundance and environmental characteristics, such as type of rookery and vegetation. There was a significant positive correlation between type of rookery and abundance of actinomycetes; soil samples collected from active chinstrap penguin rookeries had the highest actinomycete abundance. Vegetation type, such as moss, which could provide a microhabitat for bacteria, did not correlate significantly with actinomycete abundance.

The diversity of specific bacteria taxa, such as the actinomycetes, has not been reported from the Antarctic island of Barrientos. The diversity of actinomycetes was estimated with two different strategies that use PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. First, a PCR was applied, using a group-specific primer that allows selective amplification of actinomycete sequences. Second, a nested-PCR approach was used that allows the estimation of the relative abundance of actinomycetes within the bacterial community. Molecular identification, which was based on 16S rDNA sequence analysis, revealed eight genera of actinomycetes, Actinobacterium, Actinomyces, an uncultured Actinomycete, Streptomyces, Leifsonia, Frankineae, Rhodococcus, and Mycobacterium. The uncultured Actinomyces sp and Rhodococcus sp appear to be the prominent genera of actinomycetes in Barrientos Island soil. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis patterns were used to look for correlations between actinomycete abundance and environmental characteristics, such as type of rookery and vegetation. There was a significant positive correlation between type of rookery and abundance of actinomycetes; soil samples collected from active chinstrap penguin rookeries had the highest actinomycete abundance. Vegetation type, such as moss, which could provide a microhabitat for bacteria, did not correlate significantly with actinomycete abundance.