The Diversity of Sulfide Oxidation and Sulfate Reduction Genes Expressed by the Bacterial Communities of the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela

Maria J. Rodriguez-Mora1, Virginia P. Edgcomb2, Craig Taylor3, Mary I. Scranton4, Gordon T. Taylor4, Andrei Y. Chistoserdov1, *
1 Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, 70504, USA
2 Geology and Geophysics Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02543, USA
3 Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02543, USA
4 School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, 11794, USA

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© Rodriguez-Mora et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biology, 300 E St. Mary Blvd., Room 108, Lafayette, Louisiana, 70504, USA; Tel: 337-482-1330; Fax: 337-482-5660; E-mail:


Qualitative expression of dissimilative sulfite reductase (dsrA), a key gene in sulfate reduction, and sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (sqr), a key gene in sulfide oxidation was investigated. Neither of the two could be amplified from mRNA retrieved with Niskin bottles but were amplified from mRNA retrieved by the Deep SID. The sqr and sqr-like genes retrieved from the Cariaco Basin were related to the sqr genes from a Bradyrhizobium sp., Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum, Sulfurovum sp. NBC37-1, Sulfurimonas autotrophica, Thiorhodospira sibirica and Chlorobium tepidum. The dsrA gene sequences obtained from the redoxcline of the Cariaco Basin belonged to chemoorganotrophic and chemoautotrophic sulfate and sulfur reducers belonging to the class Deltaproteobacteria (phylum Proteobacteria) and the order Clostridiales (phylum Firmicutes).

Keywords: Cariaco Basin, cDNA, Gene expression, Sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase, Sulfite reductase, Sulfur cycle.