Key words Actinomycetes
16S rDNA sequences
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract In an extended study on the biodiversity of rock-dwelling bacteria, the colony and cell morphology, physiology, protein patterns, and 16S rDNA sequences of 17 bacterial strains isolated from different surfaces of rocks, stones, and monuments and from various geographical locations were characterized. All except one strain, which was found to be a Bacillus, were members of the order Actinomycetales. The majority of the strains either were closely related to Geodermatophilus obscurus, which was also analyzed in this study, or formed a closely related sister taxon. All of these strains were isolated from the surface of marble in Namibia and Greece and from limestone from the Negev desert, Israel. One strain, G10, of Namibia origin was equidistantly related to Geodermatophilus obscurus, Frankia alni, Sporichthya polymorpha, and Acidothermus cellulolyticus. Three strains from rock varnish in the Mojave desert, California, were found to be highly related to Arthrobacter (formerly Micrococcus) agilis. All clusters could be confirmed from results of studies on morphological and physiological properties and from banding patterns of whole cell proteins. Based on the results of tests, four additional strains were assigned to the lineage defined by strain G10.
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