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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 753758, 22 pages
Research Article

The Sulfate-Rich and Extreme Saline Sediment of the Ephemeral Tirez Lagoon: A Biotope for Acetoclastic Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria and Hydrogenotrophic Methanogenic Archaea

1Biología Molecular de Plantas, Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, Camino a la Presa San José 2055, Lomas 4a Sección, 78216 San Luis Potosí, SLP, Mexico
2Centro de Biología Molecular, CSIC Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
3Interdisciplinary Center for Bioinformatics and Department of Computer Science, University of Leipzig, 04107 Leipzig, Germany
4Centro de Astrobiología , INTA, 28855 Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain

Received 16 April 2011; Accepted 23 June 2011

Academic Editor: Haichun Gao

Copyright © 2011 Lilia Montoya 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.


Our goal was to examine the composition of methanogenic archaea (MA) and sulfate-reducing (SRP) and sulfur-oxidizing (SOP) prokaryotes in the extreme athalassohaline and particularly sulfate-rich sediment of Tirez Lagoon (Spain). Thus, adenosine- -phosphosulfate (APS) reductase α (aprA) and methyl coenzyme M reductase α (mcrA) gene markers were amplified given that both enzymes are specific for SRP, SOP, and MA, respectively. Anaerobic populations sampled at different depths in flooded and dry seasons from the anoxic sediment were compared qualitatively via denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprint analysis. Phylogenetic analyses allowed the detection of SRP belonging to Desulfobacteraceae, Desulfohalobiaceae, and Peptococcaceae in -proteobacteria and Firmicutes and SOP belonging to Chromatiales/Thiotrichales clade and Ectothiorhodospiraceae in γ-proteobacteria as well as MA belonging to methylotrophic species in Methanosarcinaceae and one hydrogenotrophic species in Methanomicrobiaceae. We also estimated amino acid composition, GC content, and preferential codon usage for the AprA and McrA sequences from halophiles, nonhalophiles, and Tirez phylotypes. Even though our results cannot be currently conclusive regarding the halotolerant strategies carried out by Tirez phylotypes, we discuss the possibility of a plausible “salt-in” signal in SRP and SOP as well as of a speculative complementary haloadaptation between salt-in and salt-out strategies in MA.