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Volume 2013, Article ID 723871, 11 pages
Research Article

Archaeal Community Structures in the Solfataric Acidic Hot Springs with Different Temperatures and Elemental Compositions

Division of Environmental Engineering for Symbiosis, Graduate School of Engineering, Soka University, 1-236 Tangi-machi, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-8577, Japan

Received 31 October 2012; Revised 20 January 2013; Accepted 24 March 2013

Academic Editor: Yoshizumi Ishino

Copyright © 2013 Tomoko Satoh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Archaeal 16S rRNA gene compositions and environmental factors of four distinct solfataric acidic hot springs in Kirishima, Japan were compared. The four ponds were selected by differences of temperature and total dissolved elemental concentration as follows: (1) Pond-A: 93°C and 1679 mg L−1, (2) Pond-B: 66°C and 2248 mg L−1, (3) Pond-C: 88°C and 198 mg L−1, and (4) Pond-D: 67°C and 340 mg L−1. In total, 431 clones of 16S rRNA gene were classified into 26 phylotypes. In Pond-B, the archaeal diversity was the highest among the four, and the members of the order Sulfolobales were dominant. The Pond-D also showed relatively high diversity, and the most frequent group was uncultured thermoacidic spring clone group. In contrast to Pond-B and Pond-D, much less diverse archaeal clones were detected in Pond-A and Pond-C showing higher temperatures. However, dominant groups in these ponds were also different from each other. The members of the order Sulfolobales shared 89% of total clones in Pond-A, and the uncultured crenarchaeal groups shared 99% of total Pond-C clones. Therefore, species compositions and biodiversity were clearly different among the ponds showing different temperatures and dissolved elemental concentrations.