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Title: Environmental Drivers of the Moonmilk Microbiome Diversity in Some Temperate and Tropical Caves
Authors: Theodorescu, Mihail
Bucur, Ruxandra
Bulzu, Paul Adrian
Faur, Luchiana
Levei, Erika Andrea
Mirea, Ionuț Cornel
Cadar, Oana
Ferreira, Rodrigo Lopes
Souza-Silva, Marconi
Moldovan, Oana Teodora
Keywords: Cave deposit;Microbial community;16S RNA;Metabarcoding;Chemical composition;XRD
Issue Date: Nov-2023
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Microbial Ecology, 2023, 86, 2847–2857
Abstract: Moonmilk is a cave deposit that was used for medical and cosmetic purposes and has lately raised interest for its antimicrobial potential. We studied five moonmilk samples from four caves with different microclimatic conditions, two temperate in north-western and northern Romania (Ferice, Fața Apei, and Izvorul Tăușoarelor caves) and one tropical in Minas Gerais, Brazil (Nestor Cave). The physicochemical and mineralogical analyses confirmed the presence of calcite and dolomite as the main phase in the moonmilk. A 16S rRNA gene-based metabarcoding approach showed the most abundant bacteria phyla Proteobacteria, GAL15, Actinobacteriota, and Acidobacteriota. The investigated caves differed in the dominant orders of bacteria, with the highest distance between the Romanian and Nestor Cave samples. Climate and, implicitly, the soil microbiome can be responsible for some differences we found between all the samples. However, other factors can be involved in shaping the moonmilk microbiome, as differences were found between samples in the same cave (Ferice). In our five moonmilk samples, 1 phylum, 70 orders (~ 36%), and 252 genera (~ 47%) were unclassified, which hints at the great potential of cave microorganisms for future uses.
ISSN: 1432-184X
DOI: 10.1007/s00248-023-02286-8
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Geocronología y Geología

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