Thermophilic prokaryotic communities inhabiting the biofilm and well water of a thermal karst system located in Budapest (Hungary)

Dóra Anda, Judit Makk, Gergely Krett, Laura Jurecska, Károly Márialigeti, Judit Mádl-Szőnyi, Andrea K. Borsodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and 16S rRNA gene-based phylogenetic approach were applied to reveal the morphological structure and genetic diversity of thermophilic prokaryotic communities of a thermal karst well located in Budapest (Hungary). Bacterial and archaeal diversity of the well water (73.7 °C) and the biofilm developed on the inner surface of an outflow pipeline of the well were studied by molecular cloning method. According to the SEM images calcium carbonate minerals serve as a surface for colonization of bacterial aggregates. The vast majority of the bacterial and archaeal clones showed the highest sequence similarities to chemolithoautotrophic species. The bacterial clone libraries were dominated by sulfur oxidizer Thiobacillus (Betaproteobacteria) in the water and Sulfurihydrogenibium (Aquificae) in the biofilm. A relatively high proportion of molecular clones represented genera Thermus and Bellilinea in the biofilm library. The most abundant phylotypes both in water and biofilm archaeal clone libraries were closely related to thermophilic ammonia oxidizer Nitrosocaldus and Nitrososphaera but phylotypes belonging to methanogens were also detected. The results show that in addition to the bacterial sulfur and hydrogen oxidation, mainly archaeal ammonia oxidation may play a decisive role in the studied thermal karst system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-797
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 24 2015



  • 16S rRNA
  • Biofilm
  • Clone library
  • Prokaryotic diversity
  • SEM
  • Thermal well water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Medicine

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