Phylogenetic diversity and distribution of dissimilatory sulfite reductase genes from deep-sea sediment cores
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The diversity and distribution of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRP) was investigated in the Nankai Trough sediments of off-central Japan by exploring the diversity of a functional gene, dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrAB). Bulk DNAs were extracted from five piston-cored samples (up to 4.5 m long) with 41 vertical sections, and full-length dsrAB gene sequences (ca. 1.9 kb) were PCR amplified and cloned. A total of 382 dsrAB clones yielded eight phylogenetic groups with an indigenous group forming a unique dsrAB lineage. The deltaproteobacterial dsrAB genes were found in almost all sediment samples, especially in the surface layer. One unique dsrAB clone group was also widespread in the dsrAB profiles of the studied sediments, and the percentage of its clones was generally shown gradual increase with sediment depth.
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