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Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica
Sára Szuróczki
Zsuzsa Kéki
Szandra Káli
Anett Lippai
Károly Márialigeti
, and
Erika Tóth

Thermal baths are unique aquatic environments combining a wide variety of natural and anthropogenic ecological factors, which also appear in their microbiological state. There is limited information on the microbiology of thermal baths in their complexity, tracking community shifts from the thermal wells to the pools. In the present study, the natural microbial community of well and pool waters in Gellért bath was studied in detail by cultivation-based techniques. To isolate bacteria, 10% R2A and minimal synthetic media (with “bath water”) with agar–agar and gellan gum were used after prolonged incubation time; moreover, polyurethane blocks covered with media were also applied. Strains were identified by sequencing their 16S rRNA gene after grouping them by amplified rDNA restriction analysis. From each sample, the dominance of Alphaproteobacteria was characteristic though their diversity differed among samples. Members of Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Beta- and Gamma-proteobacteria, Deinococcus–Thermus, and Bacteroidetes were also identified. Representatives of Deinococcus–Thermus phylum appeared only in the pool water. The largest groups in the pool water belonged to the Tistrella and Chelatococcus genera. The most dominant member in the well water was a new taxon, its similarity to Hartmannibacter diazotrophicus as closest relative was 93.93%.

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