Biodiversity of Archaea and floral of two inland saltern ecosystems in the Alto Vinalopó Valley, Spain

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Títol: Biodiversity of Archaea and floral of two inland saltern ecosystems in the Alto Vinalopó Valley, Spain
Autors: Zafrilla, Basilio | Martínez-Espinosa, Rosa María | Alonso-Vargas, M. Angeles | Bonete, María-José
Grups d'investigació o GITE: Biotecnología de Extremófilos (BIOTECEXTREM) | Botánica y Conservación Vegetal
Centre, Departament o Servei: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Agroquímica y Bioquímica | Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales
Paraules clau: Biodiversity | Archaea | Flora | Inland solar salterns | Alto Vinalopó Valley
Àrees de coneixement: Bioquímica y Biología Molecular | Botánica
Data de publicació: 13-d’octubre-2010
Editor: BioMed Central
Citació bibliogràfica: ZAFRILLA, Basilio, et al. “Biodiversity of Archaea and floral of two inland saltern ecosystems in the Alto Vinalopó Valley, Spain”. Saline Systems 2010, 6:10. doi:10.1186/1746-1448-6-10
Resum: Background. The extraction of salt from seawater by means of coastal solar salterns is a very well-described process. Moreover, the characterization of these environments from ecological, biochemical and microbiological perspectives has become a key focus for many research groups all over the world over the last 20 years. In countries such as Spain, there are several examples of coastal solar salterns (mainly on the Mediterranean coast) and inland solar salterns, from which sodium chloride is obtained for human consumption. However, studies focused on the characterization of inland solar salterns are scarce and both the archaeal diversity and the plant communities inhabiting these environments remain poorly described. Results. Two of the inland solar salterns (termed Redonda and Penalva), located in the Alto Vinalopó Valley (Alicante, Spain), were characterized regarding their geological and physico-chemical characteristics and their archaeal and botanical biodiversity. A preliminary eukaryotic diversity survey was also performed using saline water. The chemical characterization of the brine has revealed that the salted groundwater extracted to fill these inland solar salterns is thalassohaline. The plant communities living in this environment are dominated by Sarcocornia fruticosa (L.) A.J. Scott, Arthrocnemum macrostachyum (Moris) K. Koch, Suaeda vera Forsk. ex Gmelin (Amaranthaceae) and several species of Limonium (Mill) and Tamarix (L). Archaeal diversity was analyzed and compared by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based molecular phylogenetic techniques. Most of the sequences recovered from environmental DNA samples are affiliated with haloarchaeal genera such as Haloarcula, Halorubrum, Haloquadratum and Halobacterium, and with an unclassified member of the Halobacteriaceae. The eukaryote Dunaliella was also present in the samples. Conclusions. To our knowledge, this study constitutes the first analysis centered on inland solar salterns located in the southeastern region of Spain. The results obtained revealed that the salt deposits of this region have marine origins. Plant communities typical of salt marshes are present in this ecosystem and members of the Halobacteriaceae family can be easily detected in the microbial populations of these habitats. Possible origins of the haloarchaea detected in this study are discussed.
Patrocinadors: Financial support was obtained from grants CGL2008-05056 (MICINN-Spain), GRE08-P01, BIO2008-00082 (MICINN-Spain, Fondos FEDER) and VIGROB-016 (Universidad de Alicante).
ISSN: 1746-1448
DOI: 10.1186/1746-1448-6-10
Idioma: eng
Tipus: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Drets: © 2010 Zafrilla et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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