Deep Diversity

Science  05 Oct 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5847, pp. 13n
DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5847.13n

Pyrosequencing technology can be used in high-throughput sequencing of amplicons of a small region of small subunit ribosomal RNA and allows high-resolution estimates of microbial diversity. Such resolution allows the data to be interrogated in ways that can shed light on the ecology of the communities sampled. Huber et al. (p. 97) have sampled the microflora associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean and discovered that two vents with different chemistries have distinct microflora. Archaea tended to be less diverse than Bacteria and could be sampled more completely, but the general pattern was for a few distinct populations to dominate, with thousands of low-abundance types accounting for most of the novel diversity.

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