Jana Sedláková-Kaduková, Jana Kisková, Lenka Maliničová, Ivana Timková, Stanislav Jeleň and Peter Pristaš
Sulphur-oxidising autotrophic bacterial communities in deep biosphere from weathered ore samples from active gold mine Hodruša-Hámre, Slovakia were analysed using cultivation approach followed by DNA extraction, PCR amplification and 16S rRNA gene analyses. Indirect measurement of pH changes in cultivation media evidenced the presence of acidophilic bacteria with active production of acids. The decrease of pH was observed at the beginning of isolation and later pH in range of 1.5 – 2 was maintained in both, sulphuric acid and thiosulphate, media. The presence of homogenous population of gram-negative rods was proved by Gram staining. Molecular analyses have revealed that the population of sulphur-oxidising bacteria in gold mine is dominated by a single species of Aciditiobacillus genus, identified as A. albertensis, suggesting the low level of autotrophic bacteria diversity in deep deposits. For the first time this species was isolated from weathered rocks of a gold mine subsurface environment.
Peter Pristas, Jana Kiskova, Ivana Timkova, Lenka Malinicova, Alena Luptakova, Maria Kusnierova and Jana Sedlakova-Kadukova
The genus Acidithiobacillus comprises 7 species of Gram-negative obligatory acidophilic chemolithotrophic bacteria that derive energy mainly from the oxidation of reduced sulphur compounds. Four of the species also catalyse the dissimilatory oxidation of ferrous iron while three (A. thiooxidans, A. albertensis, and A. caldus) do not. Bacteria from the genus Acidithiobacillus are often associated with mineral biotechnologies (biomining) and acid mine drainage. While acceleration of mineral solubilisation is a positive aspect in environmental biotechnologies, it is undesirable in acid mine drainage with strong negative ecological impact and there is profound interest in genetics and genomics of these bacteria. Representatives of Acidithiobacillus genus occur world-wide, however there are limited data on Acidithiobacillus spp. variability from Slovakia. In our work the variability of Acidithiobacillus spp., from Slovakia was analysed and the presence of A ferrooxidans was detected. In addition, for the first time we report here on the occurrence of A. albertensis as well. Comparative analyses confirmed pronounced genetic and genomic diversity within the genus, especially within A. ferrooxidans and A. thioxidans complexes. Based on data presented, several Acidithiobacillus species could be considered as a complex species and the description of several new species is very probable in the near future.