Prokaryotic diversity, composition structure, and phylogenetic analysis of microbial communities in leachate sediment ecosystems.
In order to obtain insight into the prokaryotic diversity and community in leachate sediment, a culture-independent DNA-based molecular phylogenetic approach was performed with archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries derived from leachate sediment of an aged landfill. A total of 59 archaeal and 283 bacterial rDNA phylotypes were identified in 425 archaeal and 375 bacterial analyzed clones. All archaeal clones distributed within two archaeal phyla of the Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, and well-defined methanogen lineages, especially Methanosaeta spp., are the most numerically dominant species of the archaeal community. Phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial library revealed a variety of pollutant-degrading and biotransforming microorganisms, including 18 distinct phyla. A substantial fraction of bacterial clones showed low levels of similarity with any previously documented sequences and thus might be taxonomically new. Chemical characteristics and phylogenetic inferences indicated that (1) ammonium-utilizing bacteria might form consortia to alleviate or avoid the negative influence of high ammonium concentration on other microorganisms, and (2) members of the Crenarchaeota found in the sediment might be involved in ammonium oxidation. This study is the first to report the composition of the microbial assemblages and phylogenetic characteristics of prokaryotic populations extant in leachate sediment. Additional work on microbial activity and contaminant biodegradation remains to be explored.