Metagenomic analyses of the dominant bacterial community in the Fildes Peninsula, King George Island (South Shetland Islands)
There is little information on the bacterial diversity of the Fildes Peninsula, King George Island. Hence, this study was conducted to determine the bacterial population of sediments and soils from the lakes, river, glacier and an abandoned oil tank area in the Fildes Peninsula, using a metagenomic approach. DNA was extracted from the sediment and soil samples, and analyzed using the 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). A total of 299 DNA fragments resolved using the DGGE were sequenced. The results of the analysis provided an overview of the predominant groups of bacteria and the diversity of the bacterial communities. The most abundant phyla of bacteria in Fildes Peninsula were Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospira, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Cyanobacteria, Spirochaetes, Deinococcus-Thermus, WS3 and BRC1. All of the sediment samples from the lakes had different representatives of dominant bacterial species. Interestingly, 15% of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) did not group into any of the existing phyla in the Ribosomal Database Project (RDP). One of the OTUs had a similarity of <0.90 when compared to the GenBank sequences and probably was a novel bacterium specific to that location. The majority of the bacterial 16S rDNA sequences were found to be closely related to those found elsewhere.