The microbial community structure in Thailand soils contaminated with low and high levels of arsenic was determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Band pattern analysis indicated that the bacterial community was not significantly different in the two soils. Phylogenetic analysis obtained by excising and sequencing six bands indicated that the soils were dominated by Arthrobacter koreensis and β-Proteobacteria. Two hundred and sixty-two bacterial isolates were obtained from arsenic-contaminated soils. The majority of the As-resistant isolates were Gramnegative bacteria. MIC studies indicated that all of the tested bacteria had greater resistance to arsenate than arsenite. Some strains were capable of growing in medium containing up to 1,500 mg/l arsenite and arsenate. Correlations analysis of resistance patterns of arsenite resistance indicated that the isolated bacteria could be categorized into 13 groups, with a maximum similarity value of 100%. All strains were also evaluated for resistance to eight antibiotics. The antibiotic resistance patterns divided the strains into 100 unique groups, indicating that the strains were very diverse. Isolates from each antibiotic resistance group were characterized in more detail by using the repetitive extragenic palindromic-PCR (rep-PCR) DNA fingerprinting technique with ERIC primers. The PCR products were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis. The genetic relatedness of 100 bacterial fingerprints, determined by using the Pearson product-moment similarity coefficient, showed that the isolates could be divided into four clusters, with similarity values ranging from 5-99%. Although many isolates were genetically diverse, others were clonal in nature. Additionally, the arsenic-resistant isolates were examined for the presence of arsenic resistance (ars) genes by using PCR, and 30% of the isolates were found to carry an arsenate reductase encoded by the arsC gene.
- Arsenic-resistant bacteria
- DNA fingerprinting
- Denaturing gradient gel electophoresis (DGGE)
- Repetitive extragenic palindromic-PCR (rep-PCR)