Composition and predicted functions of the bacterial community in spouting pool sediments from the El Tatio Geyser field in Chile

Qian Zhang, Marco Campos, Giovanni Larama, Jacquelinne J. Acuña, Bernardita Valenzuela, Francisco Solis, Pedro Zamorano, Rubén Araya, Michael J. Sadowsky, Milko A. Jorquera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The El Tatio Geyser Field (ETGF), located in Northern Chile, is the main geyser field in the southern hemisphere. Despite this, details of its microbial ecology are still unknown. Here, we briefly report on the composition and predicted functions of the bacterial community in spouting pool sediments from the ETGF as revealed by high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Results of this analysis showed that while there were differences in richness and diversity between samples, bacterial communities were primarily dominated by the phyla Proteobacteria, followed Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, and Chloroflexi. Analyses of predicted functional activity indicated that the functions were mostly attributed to chemoheterotrophy and aerobic chemoheterotrophy, followed by sulfur (respiration of sulfur compounds and sulfate) and nitrogen (nitrate reduction, respiration of nitrogen and nitrate) cycling. Taken together, our results suggest a high diversity in taxonomy and predictive functions of bacterial communities in sediments from spouting pools. This study provides fundamentally important information on the structure and function predictive functions of microbiota communities in spouting pools. Moreover, since the ETGF is intensively visited and impacted by tens of thousands of tourists every year, our results can be used to help guide the design of sustainable conservation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 20 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by FONDECYT project no. 1201386 (to M.A.J. and J.J.A.), by CONICYT CHILE–NSFC CHINA grant code NSFC190012 (to M.A.J., J.J.A and M.C.), by the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (to M.J.S. and Q.Z.), and by the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (to M.J.S.), by FONDECYT Postdoctorate no. 3180198 (to M.C.), Network for Extreme Environments Research project NEXER; Project ANT1756, Universidad de Antofagasta (to R.A, B.V, F.S. and P.Z.), by DPDI project ANT 1856, Universidad de Antofagasta (to F. S.), by Exploration of communities of microorganisms associated with extreme areas of the Antofagasta region FICr Antofagasta 4636, Universidad de Antofagasta (to R.A, B.V and P.Z.). The authors acknowledge to Eng. Sergio Arancibia from Enel Green Power S.A. ( ) for his assistance during sampling in ETGF.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Atacama Desert
  • Bacterial community
  • Extreme environments
  • Geyser
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Humboldt System
  • Sediment

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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