Microbial diversity in polluted harbor sediments II: Sulfate-reducing bacterial community assessment using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library of dsrAB gene

Wen Zhang, Lin sheng Song, Jang Seu Ki, Chun Kwan Lau, Xiangdong Li, Pei Yuan Qian

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) are important regulators of a variety of processes in coastal marine sediments regarding organic matter turnover, biodegradation of pollutants, and sulfur and carbon cycles. Yet their community compositions have not been investigated in polluted harbor sediments. This study described the diversity and spatial variation of SRB communities in surface sediments in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong. The spatial variation of SRB communities was described by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). The results showed that the most diversified terminal restriction fragments were found at polluted sites. In addition, cluster analysis indicated that although the SRB communities were different at the two polluted sites, they were still more similar to each other than to the two more distant reference sites. Based on a dsrAB clone library constructed at a polluted site, diversified SRB were found, represented by 30 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs). Upon comparisons among the SRB sequences detected from this study and those in the GenBank, five clades of SRB were found. Three clades belonged to the known families Desulfobacteraceae, Desulfobulbaceae, and Syntrophobacteriaceae. The majority of sequenced clones, which distantly related to sequences in the GenBank, constituted the remaining two unclassified groups, suggesting unique SRB members related to the polluted harbor environment. Statistical analyses indicated that estimated SRB richness correlated with environment factors such as sulfur content, acid volatile sulfate, and redox potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-691
Number of pages10
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2008


  • clone library
  • dsrAB
  • pollution
  • sulfate-reducing bacteria
  • T-RFLP
  • Victoria Harbor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

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