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Microbial diversity of a disused copper mine site (Parys Mountain, UK), dominated by intensive eukaryotic filamentous growth

Distaso, M.A., Bargiela, R., Johnson, B., McIntosh, O.A., Williams, G.B., Jones, D.L., Golyshin, P.N. and Golyshina, O.V. (2022) Microbial diversity of a disused copper mine site (Parys Mountain, UK), dominated by intensive eukaryotic filamentous growth. Microorganisms, 10 (9). Art. 1694.

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The Parys Mountain copper mine (Wales, UK) contains a wide range of discrete environmental microniches with various physicochemical conditions that shape microbial community composition. Our aim was to assess the microbial community in the sediments and overlying water column in an acidic mine drainage (AMD) site containing abundant filamentous biogenic growth via application of a combination of chemical analysis and taxonomic profiling using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Our results were then compared to previously studied sites at Parys Mt. Overall, the sediment microbiome showed a dominance of bacteria over archaea, particularly those belonging to Proteobacteria (genera Acidiphilium and Acidisphaera), Acidobacteriota (subgroup 1), Chloroflexota (AD3 cluster), Nitrospirota (Leptospirillum) and the uncultured Planctomycetota/CPIa-3 termite group. Archaea were only present in the sediment in small quantities, being represented by the Terrestrial Miscellaneous Euryarchaeota Group (TMEG), Thermoplasmatales and Ca. Micrarchaeota (Ca. Micracaldota). Bacteria, mostly of the genera Acidiphilium and Leptospirillum, also dominated within the filamentous streamers while archaea were largely absent. This study found pH and dissolved solutes to be the most important parameters correlating with relative proportions of bacteria to archaea in an AMD environment and revealed the abundance patterns of native acidophilic prokaryotes inhabiting Parys Mt sites and their niche specificities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Food Futures Institute
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2022 by the authors.
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