Community phylogenetic diversity of cyanobacterial mats associated with geothermal springs along a tropical intertidal gradient

Extremophiles. 2006 Apr;10(2):159-63. doi: 10.1007/s00792-005-0477-9. Epub 2005 Sep 6.


The 16S rRNA gene-defined bacterial diversity of tropical intertidal geothermal vents subject to varying degrees of seawater inundation was investigated. Shannon-Weaver diversity estimates of clone library-derived sequences revealed that the hottest pools located above the mean high-water mark that did not experience seawater inundation were most diverse, followed by those that were permanently submerged below the mean low-water mark. Pools located in the intertidal were the least biodiverse, and this is attributed to the fluctuating conditions caused by periodic seawater inundation rather than physicochemical conditions per se. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that a ubiquitous Oscillatoria-like phylotype accounted for 83% of clones. Synechococcus-like phylotypes were also encountered at each location, whilst others belonging to the Chroococcales, Oscillatoriales, and other non-phototrophic bacteria occurred only at specific locations along the gradient. All cyanobacterial phylotypes displayed highest phylogenetic affinity to terrestrial thermophilic counterparts rather than marine taxa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity*
  • Cyanobacteria / classification*
  • Cyanobacteria / genetics
  • Ecosystem
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Hot Temperature
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Seawater / microbiology*


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S