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Acid mine drainage (AMD) systems are globally widespread and are an important source of metal pollution in riverine and coastal systems. Microbial AMD communities have been extensively studied for their ability to thrive under extremely acidic conditions and for their immense contribution to the dissolution of metal ores. However, little is known on microbial inhabitants of AMD systems subjected to extremely contrasting continental seasonal temperature patterns as opposed to maritime climate zones, experiencing much weaker annual temperature variations. Here, we investigated three types of AMD sites in Eastern Transbaikalia (Russia). In this region, all surface water bodies undergo a deep and long (up to 6 months) freezing, with seasonal temperatures varying between −33 and +24°C, which starkly contrasts the common well-studied AMD environments. We sampled acidic pit lake (Sherlovaya Gora site) located in the area of a polymetallic deposit, acidic drainage water from Bugdaya gold-molybdenum-tungsten deposit and Ulan-Bulak natural acidic spring. These systems showed the abundance of bacteria-derived reads mostly affiliated with Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria, chloroplasts, Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes. Furthermore, candidate taxa “Ca. Saccharibacteria” (previously known as TM7), “Ca. Parcubacteria” (OD1) and WPS-2 were represented in substantial quantities (10–20%). Heterotrophy and iron redox cycling can be considered as central processes of carbon and energy flow for majority of detected bacterial taxa. Archaea were detected in low numbers, with Terrestrial Miscellaneous Euryarchaeal Group (TMEG), to be most abundant (3%) in acidic spring Ulan-Bulak. Composition of these communities was found to be typical in comparison to other AMD sites; however, certain groups (as Ignavibacteriae) could be specifically associated with this area. This study provides insight into the microbial diversity patterns in acidic ecosystems formed in areas of polymetallic deposits in extreme continental climate zone with contrasting temperature parameters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2019

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