The thermal spring of Fetida Cave, a still active sulfuric acid cave opening at sea level and located in Santa Cesarea Terme, southeastern Salento (Apulia region, Southern Italy) hosts abundant floating white filaments. The white filaments were mainly composed of sulfur crystals surrounded by microbial mass of the phyla Epsilonbacteraeota, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Patescibacteria. The most abundant genus in the white filaments collected from the waters in the innermost part of the cave dominated by sulfidic exhalations was Arcobacter. This abundance can be related to the higher concentration of sulfide dissolved in water, and low oxygen and pH values. Conversely, lower Arcobacter abundances were obtained in the filaments collected in the entrance and middle part of the cave, where sulfidic water mixes with seawater, as the cave is subjected to tides and the mixing of fresh (continental) with marine water. The geochemical analysis of water and atmospheric gases confirmed these environmental constraints. In fact, the highest concentrations of H2S in the air and water were recorded closest to the spring upwelling in the innermost part of the cave, and the lowest ones near the cave entrance. The metabolic versatility of Arcobacter might provide a competitive advantage in the colonization of water bodies characterized by high sulfide, low oxygen, and dynamic fluid movement.

Dominance of Arcobacter in the white filaments from the thermal sulfidic spring of Fetida Cave (Apulia, southern Italy)

Ghezzi, Daniele;
2021

Abstract

The thermal spring of Fetida Cave, a still active sulfuric acid cave opening at sea level and located in Santa Cesarea Terme, southeastern Salento (Apulia region, Southern Italy) hosts abundant floating white filaments. The white filaments were mainly composed of sulfur crystals surrounded by microbial mass of the phyla Epsilonbacteraeota, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Patescibacteria. The most abundant genus in the white filaments collected from the waters in the innermost part of the cave dominated by sulfidic exhalations was Arcobacter. This abundance can be related to the higher concentration of sulfide dissolved in water, and low oxygen and pH values. Conversely, lower Arcobacter abundances were obtained in the filaments collected in the entrance and middle part of the cave, where sulfidic water mixes with seawater, as the cave is subjected to tides and the mixing of fresh (continental) with marine water. The geochemical analysis of water and atmospheric gases confirmed these environmental constraints. In fact, the highest concentrations of H2S in the air and water were recorded closest to the spring upwelling in the innermost part of the cave, and the lowest ones near the cave entrance. The metabolic versatility of Arcobacter might provide a competitive advantage in the colonization of water bodies characterized by high sulfide, low oxygen, and dynamic fluid movement.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2702314
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