elib
DLR-Header
DLR-Logo -> http://www.dlr.de
DLR Portal Home | Imprint | Privacy Policy | Contact | Deutsch
Fontsize: [-] Text [+]

The influence of human exploration on the microbial community structure and ammonia oxidizing potential of the Su Bentu limestone cave in Sardinia, Italy

Leuko, Stefan and Koskinen, K. and Sanna, L. and D’Angeli, I. M. and De Waele, J. and Marcia, P. and Moissl-Eichinger, C. and Rettberg, Petra (2017) The influence of human exploration on the microbial community structure and ammonia oxidizing potential of the Su Bentu limestone cave in Sardinia, Italy. PLoS One, 12 (7), e0180700. Public Library of Science (PLoS). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180700 ISSN 1932-6203

[img] PDF
4MB

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180700

Abstract

The bacterial diversity in the Su Bentu Cave in Sardinia was investigated by means of 16S rRNA gene-based analysis. This 15 km long cave, carved in Jurassic limestone, hosts a variety of calcite speleothems, and a long succession of subterranean lakes with mixed granite and carbonate sands. The lower level is occasionally flooded by a rising groundwater level, but with only scarce input of organic remains (leaves and charcoal fragments). On the quiet cave pools there are visible calcite rafts, whereas walls are locally coated with manganese deposits. In the drier upper levels, where organic input is much more subdued, moonmilk—a hydrated calcium-magnesium carbonate speleothem—can be found. Relative humidity approaches 100% and the measured mean annual cave air temperature is 14.8°C. Samples were obtained in 2014 from calcite rafts, moonmilk, manganese oxide deposits and soil (limestone and granite grains). Microclimatic conditions in the cave near the sampling sites, sample properties, physico-chemical parameters of water, and sediment composition were determined. The microbial community of this system is predominately composed of the phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, Nitrospirae, and Firmicutes. Sampling sites near the entrance of the cave and in close proximity of the underground campsite–located 500 meters deep into the cave—revealed the highest diversity as well as the highest number of human associated microorganisms. Two samples obtained in very close proximity of each other near the campsite, indicate that the human impact is localized and is not distributed freely within the system. Analysis of the abundance of bacterial and archaeal amoA genes revealed a far greater abundance of archaeal amoA genes compared to bacterial representatives. The results of this study highlight that human impact is confined to locations that are utilized as campsites and that exploration leaves little microbial trails. Furthermore, we uncovered a highly specialized microbiome, which is perfectly adapted to survive and thrive in an environment with low nutrient availability.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/113295/
Document Type:Article
Title:The influence of human exploration on the microbial community structure and ammonia oxidizing potential of the Su Bentu limestone cave in Sardinia, Italy
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Leuko, Stefanradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germany; stefan.leuko (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0423-0896
Koskinen, K.Medical University of Graz, Section of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, BioTechMed, Krenngasse, Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Sanna, L.Institute for Biometeorology, National Research Council of Italy, Sassari, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
D’Angeli, I. M.Italian Institute of Speleology, University of Bologna, Bologna, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
De Waele, J.Italian Institute of Speleology, University of Bologna, Bologna, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Marcia, P.Dipartimento di Scienze della Natura e del Territorio, Università di Sassari, Sassari, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Moissl-Eichinger, C.Medical University of Graz, Section of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, BioTechMed, Krenngasse, Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, Petraradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germany.https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Date:2017
Journal or Publication Title:PLoS One
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:12
DOI :10.1371/journal.pone.0180700
Page Range:e0180700
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Brusetti, LorenzoFree University of Bozen/Bolzano, ITALY
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Status:Published
Keywords:bacterial diversity, CAVES, human exploration
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:20 Jul 2017 13:57
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:52

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Browse
Search
Help & Contact
Information
electronic library is running on EPrints 3.3.12
Copyright © 2008-2017 German Aerospace Center (DLR). All rights reserved.