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From genes to genomes: beyond biodiversity in Spain's Rio Tinto

From genes to genomes: beyond biodiversity in Spain's Rio Tinto
From genes to genomes: beyond biodiversity in Spain's Rio Tinto
Spain's Rio Tinto, or Red River, an example of an extremely acidic (pH 1.7-2.5) environment with a high metal content, teems with prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial life. Our recent studies based on small-subunit rRNA genes reveal an unexpectedly high eukaryotic phylogenetic diversity in the river when compared to the relatively low prokaryotic diversity. Protists can therefore thrive in and dominate extremely acidic, heavy-metal-laden environments. Further, because we have discovered protistan acidophiles closely related to neutrophiles, we can hypothesize that the transition from neutral to acidic environments occurs rapidly over geological time scales. How have these organisms adapted to such environments? We are currently exploring the alterations in physiological mechanisms that might allow for growth of eukaryotic microbes at acid extremes. To this end, we are isolating phylogenetically diverse protists in order to characterize and compare ion-transporting ATPases from cultured acidophiles with those from neutrophilic counterparts. We predict that special properties of these ion transporters allow protists to survive in the Rio Tinto
0006-3185
205-209
Amaral Zettler, Linda A.
7cf4c214-6375-4b3a-844f-526f99529299
Messerli, Mark A.
94a8bd34-95d7-4a52-b4d8-1ccded0e8fe7
Laatsch, Abby D
8b69efd3-6bb9-492a-b046-fa45a188ebd2
Smith, Peter J.S.
003de469-9420-4f12-8f0e-8e8d76d28d6c
Sogin, Mitchell L.
23f8a287-ebed-4706-800a-9fe8022b9f55
Amaral Zettler, Linda A.
7cf4c214-6375-4b3a-844f-526f99529299
Messerli, Mark A.
94a8bd34-95d7-4a52-b4d8-1ccded0e8fe7
Laatsch, Abby D
8b69efd3-6bb9-492a-b046-fa45a188ebd2
Smith, Peter J.S.
003de469-9420-4f12-8f0e-8e8d76d28d6c
Sogin, Mitchell L.
23f8a287-ebed-4706-800a-9fe8022b9f55

Amaral Zettler, Linda A., Messerli, Mark A., Laatsch, Abby D, Smith, Peter J.S. and Sogin, Mitchell L. (2003) From genes to genomes: beyond biodiversity in Spain's Rio Tinto. Biological Bulletin, 204 (2), 205-209. (PMID:12700155)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Spain's Rio Tinto, or Red River, an example of an extremely acidic (pH 1.7-2.5) environment with a high metal content, teems with prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial life. Our recent studies based on small-subunit rRNA genes reveal an unexpectedly high eukaryotic phylogenetic diversity in the river when compared to the relatively low prokaryotic diversity. Protists can therefore thrive in and dominate extremely acidic, heavy-metal-laden environments. Further, because we have discovered protistan acidophiles closely related to neutrophiles, we can hypothesize that the transition from neutral to acidic environments occurs rapidly over geological time scales. How have these organisms adapted to such environments? We are currently exploring the alterations in physiological mechanisms that might allow for growth of eukaryotic microbes at acid extremes. To this end, we are isolating phylogenetically diverse protists in order to characterize and compare ion-transporting ATPases from cultured acidophiles with those from neutrophilic counterparts. We predict that special properties of these ion transporters allow protists to survive in the Rio Tinto

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Published date: April 2003
Organisations: University of Southampton

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 188831
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/188831
ISSN: 0006-3185
PURE UUID: 49a4b478-cdba-416a-b304-5fddc43dee43
ORCID for Peter J.S. Smith: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4400-6853

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Date deposited: 13 Jun 2011 13:10
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 01:38

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Contributors

Author: Linda A. Amaral Zettler
Author: Mark A. Messerli
Author: Abby D Laatsch
Author: Mitchell L. Sogin

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