High rates of sulfate reduction in a low-sulfate hot spring microbial mat are driven by a low level of diversity of sulfate-respiring microorganisms

Jesse G. Dillon, Susan Fishbain, Scott R. Miller, Brad M. Bebout, Kirsten S. Habicht, Samuel M. Webb, David A. Stahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The importance of sulfate respiration in the microbial mat found in the low-sulfate thermal outflow of Mushroom Spring in Yellowstone National Park was evaluated using a combination of molecular, microelectrode, and radiotracer studies. Despite very low sulfate concentrations, this mat community was shown to sustain a highly active sulfur cycle. The highest rates of sulfate respiration were measured close to the surface of the mat late in the day when photosynthetic oxygen production ceased and were associated with a Thermodesulfovibrio-like population. Reduced activity at greater depths was correlated with novel populations of sulfate-reducing microorganisms, unrelated to characterized species, and most likely due to both sulfate and carbon limitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5218-5226
Number of pages9
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume73
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

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