Next-generation sequencing of microbial communities in the athabasca river and its tributaries in relation to oil sands mining activities

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02036-12
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TypeArticle
Journal titleApplied and Environmental Microbiology
ISSN0099-2240
Volume78
Issue21
Pages76267637; # of pages: 12
Subject16S rRNA gene; Aquatic microbial communities; Archaea; Archaeal; Athabasca; Athabasca oil sands; Bacterial diversity; Bitumen extraction; Environmental studies; Microbial communities; Oil sands mining; Oil sands tailings; Tailings pond; Bituminous materials; Microorganisms; Oil sands; Ore tailings; RNA; Sedimentology; sediments; RNA 16S; bioindicator; fluvial deposit; physicochemical property; prokaryote; river pollution; species diversity; archaeon; bacterium; biodiversity; DNA sequence; environmental monitoring; genetics; high throughput sequencing; microbial consortium; microbiology; oil and gas field; oil spill; water pollutant; Oil and Gas Fields; Petroleum Pollution; Rivers; RNA, Ribosomal, 16S; Sequence Analysis, DNA; Water Pollutants, Chemical; Alberta; Athabasca River; Canada; Archaea; Bacteria (microorganisms)
AbstractThe Athabasca oil sands deposit is the largest reservoir of crude bitumen in the world. Recently, the soaring demand for oil and the availability of modern bitumen extraction technology have heightened exploitation of this reservoir and the potential unintended consequences of pollution in the Athabasca River. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential impacts of oil sands mining on neighboring aquatic microbial community structure. Microbial communities were sampled from sediments in the Athabasca River and its tributaries as well as in oil sands tailings ponds. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes were amplified and sequenced using next-generation sequencing technology (454 and Ion Torrent). Sediments were also analyzed for a variety of chemical and physical characteristics. Microbial communities in the fine tailings of the tailings ponds were strikingly distinct from those in the Athabasca River and tributary sediments. Microbial communities in sediments taken close to tailings ponds were more similar to those in the fine tailings of the tailings ponds than to the ones from sediments further away. Additionally, bacterial diversity was significantly lower in tailings pond sediments. Several taxonomic groups of Bacteria and Archaea showed significant correlations with the concentrations of different contaminants, highlighting their potential as bioindicators. We also extensively validated Ion Torrent sequencing in the context of environmental studies by comparing Ion Torrent and 454 data sets and by analyzing control samples. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationEnergy, Mining and Environment; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21270039
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Record identifier0dc389f0-c6fb-4e63-9b97-63b1fe7ea604
Record created2013-12-16
Record modified2016-05-09
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