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  • 1 Eötvös Loránd University Department of Microbiology Pázmány P. sétány 1/C H-1117 Budapest Hungary
  • 2 Eötvös Loránd University Department of Physical and Applied Geology Pázmány P. sétány 1/C H-1117 Budapest Hungary
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The Buda Thermal Karst System is an active hypogenic karst area that offers possibility for the analysis of biogenic cave formation. The aim of the present study was to gain information about morphological structure and genetic diversity of bacterial communities inhabiting the Diana-Hygieia Thermal Spring (DHTS). Using scanning electron microscopy, metal accumulating and unusual reticulated filaments were detected in large numbers in the DHTS biofilm samples. The phyla Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria were represented by both bacterial strains and molecular clones but phyla Acidobacteria, Chlorobi, Chlorofexi, Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospirae and Thermotogae only by molecular clones which showed the highest similarity to uncultured clone sequences originating from different environmental sources. The biofilm bacterial community proved to be somewhat more diverse than that of the water sample and the distribution of the dominant bacterial clones was different between biofilm and water samples. The majority of biofilm clones was affiliated with Deltaproteobacteria and Nitrospirae while the largest group of water clones was related to Betaproteobacteria. Considering the metabolic properties of known species related to the strains and molecular clones from DHTS, it can be assumed that these bacterial communities may participate in the local sulphur and iron cycles, and contribute to biogenic cave formation.

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