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Depart. T&E > PD “Biodiversity of bacteria and archaea in a modern stromatolite from Romania as possible indicator of the sedimentation process”

Project title: “Biodiversity of bacteria and archaea in a modern stromatolite from Romania as possible indicator of the sedimentation process”

UEFISCDI record no. 104/03.01.2012

Program Name in PNII: Resurse Umane

Project type: Post-doctoral research project

Project manager: Cristian Coman; cristian.coman@icbcluj.ro

Summary. Even though they are small-scale ecosystems, microbial mats have greatly influenced the development of life on Earth. In order to put together a clear image of how life was on this planet billions of years ago, one has to look to fossils. To see how certain conditions influenced the development of the fossils it is very important to look for modern analogues of ancient sedimentary structures. Such an analog is the modern stromatolite associated with the geothermal spring from Ciocaia, Western Plain of Romania. Despite the fact that the microbial mat from Ciocaia has developed in similar conditions with other thermophilic microbial mats from the Western Plain of Romania and share a similar cyanobacterial diversity, only in the case of Ciocaia a sedimentary structure was observed. The purpose of this project is to investigate the bacterial and archaeal diversity in the living stromatolite from Ciocaia and in other microbial mats that do not lithify. This investigation is crucial in explaining the sedimentary process because it can point out if there is a correlation between bacterial and archaeal diversity and the appearance of sedimentary structures. The bacterial and archaeal biodiversity will be assessed by three culture-independent molecular techniques in order to obtain optimal results: Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA), Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA) and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE).

Publications: Coman, C., Drugă, B., Hegedus, A., Sicora, C, Dragoș, N. Archaeal and bacterial diversity in two hot spring microbial mats from a geothermal region in Romania, Extremophiles, 17:523-534, 2013

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