Identification and Phylogenetic Analysis of
Sulfate-reducing Bacteria Isolated from Toxic
Element-contaminated Sediments in the Philippines

 Rhea G. Abisado1, Jessica F. Simbahan1, Nakao Nomura2,
Veronica P. Migo1, Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza3 and Lorele C. Trinidad1

1National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology,
University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
2College of Agro-Biological Resources Sciences,
University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan;
3Institute of Plant Breeding, University of the Philippines Los Baños,
Laguna, Philippines

corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) generated by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has been noted as a potential solution to eliminate toxic elements from highly impacted sites. SRB cultures obtained from toxic element-contaminated sites (Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS), and Mogpog River) in the Philippines were identified by molecular methods. Sequencing of 16S rRNA gene using universal bacterial primers and conventional characterization showed the pure cultures to be Desulfovibrio vulgaris. Mixed cultures revealed the presence of unclassified bacteria and representatives of the Gammaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes.Abundant uncultured and unclassified bacteriaand some bacteria with sulfate-reducing physiology weredetected from 16S rDNA amplified from community DNA obtained from toxic element-contaminated sites ofMMORS and Mogpog River. Moreover, bacteria with sulfate-reducing physiology were found not limited to the Proteobacteria group.Phylogenetic analysis showed microorganisms from the two sites clustered into two major groups: bacteria belonging to known/established groups and bacteria which were unclassified. It is highly possible that some isolates from the mixed cultures represent new species of SRB, which are still unreported in literature. Thus, this study expands the current information about the microbial diversity present in toxic element-contaminated sites with emphasis on SRB.


The group of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is comprised of bacteria, which arepolyphyletic, strictly anaerobic, morphologically diverse, present in various environments usually as complex consortia, and with dissimilatory ability to reduce sulfate(Postgate 1984). In dissimilatory sulfate reduction, energy is generated and sulfate is reduced but only a small concentration of the elemental sulfur is assimilated into the bacterial cell biomass (Rabus et al. 2006). . . . . read more



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