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Evaluation of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time Of Flight whole cell profiles for assessing the cultivable diversity of aerobic and moderately halophilic prokaryotes thriving in solar saltern sediments

Journal article
Authors R Munoz
A López-López
M Urdiain
Edward R.B. Moore
R Rosselló-Móra
Published in Systematic and Applied Microbiology
Volume 34
Issue 1
Pages 69-75
ISSN 0723-2020
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 69-75
Language en
Keywords microbial diversity, microbial identification, MALDI-TOF, mass spectrometry, microbial cultivation, RAPD, DNA-DNA hybridisation
Subject categories Spectroscopy, Molecular biology, Microbiology


The moderately halophilic, cultivable fraction of prokaryotes thriving in hyper-saline sediments of a solar saltern in Mallorca, Spain, has been studied by means of different cultivation media. A set of 374 isolates retrieved with six different culture conditions was screened, using whole-cell MALDI-TOF MS analysis to classify them into 25 phenotypic clusters at 52% similarity. The phylogenetic inference, made from comparative sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA genes of selected strains, indicated that each phenotypic cluster was comprised of a genealogically homogeneous set of strains. DNA–DNA hybridization (DDH) results among selected strains confirmed that each MALDI-TOF cluster encompassed members of the same species. On the other hand, the intra-cluster diversity, measured by several RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA) amplifications, indicated that the clusters corresponded to several populations of the same phylogenetic unit coexisting in the same environment. The results encourage the use of MALDI-TOF MS for further exhaustive studies of the cultivable diversity of hyper-saline environments.

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