Geothermal springs are rich in various metal ions due to the interaction between rock and water that takes place in the deep aquifer. Moreover, due to seasonality variation in pH and temperature, fluctuation in element composition is periodically observed within these extreme environments, influencing the environmental microbial communities. Extremophilic microorganisms that thrive in volcanic thermal vents have developed resistance mechanisms to handle several metal ions present in the environment, thus taking part to complex metal biogeochemical cycles. Moreover, extremophiles and their products have found an extensive foothold in the market, and this holds true especially for their enzymes. In this context, their characterization is functional to the development of biosystems and bioprocesses for environmental monitoring and bioremediation. To date, the isolation and cultivation under laboratory conditions of extremophilic microorganisms still represent a bottleneck for fully exploiting their biotechnological potential. This work describes a streamlined protocol for the isolation of thermophilic microorganisms from hot springs as well as their genotypical and phenotypical identification through the following steps: (1) Sampling of microorganisms from geothermal sites ("Pisciarelli", a volcanic area of Campi Flegrei in Naples, Italy); (2) Isolation of heavy metal resistant microorganisms; (3) Identification of microbial isolates; (4) Phenotypical characterization of the isolates. The methodologies described in this work might be generally applied also for the isolation of microorganisms from other extreme environments.

Bioprospecting of Extremophilic Microorganisms to Address Environmental Pollution

Martina Aulitto;Patrizia Contursi;Danila Limauro;Simonetta Bartolucci;Gabriella Fiorentino
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Geothermal springs are rich in various metal ions due to the interaction between rock and water that takes place in the deep aquifer. Moreover, due to seasonality variation in pH and temperature, fluctuation in element composition is periodically observed within these extreme environments, influencing the environmental microbial communities. Extremophilic microorganisms that thrive in volcanic thermal vents have developed resistance mechanisms to handle several metal ions present in the environment, thus taking part to complex metal biogeochemical cycles. Moreover, extremophiles and their products have found an extensive foothold in the market, and this holds true especially for their enzymes. In this context, their characterization is functional to the development of biosystems and bioprocesses for environmental monitoring and bioremediation. To date, the isolation and cultivation under laboratory conditions of extremophilic microorganisms still represent a bottleneck for fully exploiting their biotechnological potential. This work describes a streamlined protocol for the isolation of thermophilic microorganisms from hot springs as well as their genotypical and phenotypical identification through the following steps: (1) Sampling of microorganisms from geothermal sites ("Pisciarelli", a volcanic area of Campi Flegrei in Naples, Italy); (2) Isolation of heavy metal resistant microorganisms; (3) Identification of microbial isolates; (4) Phenotypical characterization of the isolates. The methodologies described in this work might be generally applied also for the isolation of microorganisms from other extreme environments.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/876928
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