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Volume 2015, Article ID 646820, 11 pages
Research Article

Archaeal Communities in a Heterogeneous Hypersaline-Alkaline Soil

1Cátedras CONACYT, Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, Km. 10.5 Autopista Tlaxcala-Texmelucan, 90120 San Felipe Ixtacuixtla, TLAX, Mexico
2Laboratory of Soil Ecology, ABACUS, Cinvestav, Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, 07360 Mexico City, DF, Mexico

Received 1 February 2015; Accepted 15 April 2015

Academic Editor: Antonio Ventosa

Copyright © 2015 Yendi E. Navarro-Noya 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.


In this study the archaeal communities in extreme saline-alkaline soils of the former lake Texcoco, Mexico, with electrolytic conductivities (EC) ranging from 0.7 to 157.2 dS/m and pH from 8.5 to 10.5 were explored. Archaeal communities in the 0.7 dS/m pH 8.5 soil had the lowest alpha diversity values and were dominated by a limited number of phylotypes belonging to the mesophilic Candidatus Nitrososphaera. Diversity and species richness were higher in the soils with EC between 9.0 and 157.2 dS/m. The majority of OTUs detected in the hypersaline soil were members of the Halobacteriaceae family. Novel phylogenetic branches in the Halobacteriales class were detected in the soil, and more abundantly in soil with the higher pH (10.5), indicating that unknown and uncharacterized Archaea can be found in this soil. Thirteen different genera of the Halobacteriaceae family were identified and were distributed differently between the soils. Halobiforma, Halostagnicola, Haloterrigena, and Natronomonas were found in all soil samples. Methanogenic archaea were found only in soil with pH between 10.0 and 10.3. Retrieved methanogenic archaea belonged to the Methanosarcinales and Methanomicrobiales orders. The comparison of the archaeal community structures considering phylogenetic information (UniFrac distances) clearly clustered the communities by pH.