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Besaury, L., Ouddane, B., Pavissich, J. P., Dubrulle-Brunaud, C., Gonzalez, B., & Quillet, L. (2012). Impact of copper on the abundance and diversity of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes in two chilean marine sediments. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 64(10), 2135–2145.
Abstract: We studied the abundance and diversity of the sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRPs) in two 30-cm marine chilean sediment cores, one with a long-term exposure to copper-mining residues, the other being a non-exposed reference sediment. The abundance of SRPs was quantified by qPCR of the dissimilatory sulfite reductase gene beta-subunit (dsrB) and showed that SRPs are sensitive to high copper concentrations, as the mean number of SRPs all along the contaminated sediment was two orders of magnitude lower than in the reference sediment. SRP diversity was analyzed by using the dsrB-sequences-based PCR-DGGE method and constructing gene libraries for dsrB-sequences. Surprisingly, the diversity was comparable in both sediments, with dsrB sequences belonging to Desulfobacteraceae, Syntrophobacteraceae, and Desulfobulbaceae, SRP families previously described in marine sediments, and to a deep branching dsrAB lineage. The hypothesis of the presence of horizontal transfer of copper resistance genes in the microbial population of the polluted sediment is discussed. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.