International Microbiology, Vol 1, No 1 (1998)

Numerical taxonomy of heavy metal-tolerant nonhalophilic bacteria isolated from hypersaline environments

Mercedes Ríos, Joaquín J. Nieto, Antonio Ventosa


A total of 232 metal-tolerant bacterial strains were isolated from water and sediment samples collected in different hypersaline environments located in Cádiz, Huelva and Morón de la Frontera (Spain). They were isolated on a medium containing mercury, chromium, cadmium, copper or zinc. These halotolerant isolates were analyzed by numerical taxonomy techniques by using the simple matching (SSM) and Jaccard (SJ) coefficients; clustering was achieved using the unweighted pair group method with averages (UPGMA) algorithm. At the 81% and 83% similarity level, different numbers of phenons were obtained for Gram-negative and Grampositive halotolerant microorganisms. Most of the 48 Gram-negative metal-tolerant strains studied were grouped into nine phenons, representing the genera Pseudoalteromonas, Alteromonas, Xanthomonas, Pseudomonas, Alcaligenes and Enterobacteria. The 72 Gram-positive metal-tolerant strains grouped into eight phenons, with only 15 strains left unassigned. Most of the isolates were assigned to the genus Bacillus (seven phenons), and one phenon comprised microorganisms with phenotypic characteristics similar to those of the genus Celullomonas.

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