Participants On This Publication
Organisms In This Publication
Applied Geochemistry, 2006      Mercury in water and biomass of microbial communities in hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, USA
Susan A. King, Sabrina Behnke, Kim Slack, David P. Krabbenhoft, D. Kirk Nordstrom, Mark D. Burr, Robert G. Striegl
Applied Geochemistry, 2006

Ultra-clean sampling methods and approaches typically used in pristine environments were applied to quantify concentrations of Hg species in water and microbial biomass from hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, features that are geologically enriched with Hg. Microbial populations of chemically-diverse hot springs were also characterized using modern methods in molecular biology as the initial step toward ongoing work linking Hg speciation with microbial processes. Molecular methods (amplification of environmental DNA using 16S rDNA primers, cloning, denatured gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) screening of clone libraries, and sequencing of representative clones) were used to examine the dominant members of microbial communities in hot springs. Total Hg (THg), monomethylated Hg (MeHg), pH, temperature, and other parameters influential to Hg speciation and microbial ecology are reported for hot springs water and associated microbial mats.

Several hot springs indicate the presence of MeHg in microbial mats with concentrations ranging from 1 to 10 ng g-1 (dry weight). Concentrations of THg in mats ranged from 4.9 to 120,000 ng g-1 (dry weight). Combined data from surveys of geothermal water, lakes, and streams show that aqueous THg concentrations range from l to 600 ng L-1. Species and concentrations of THg in mats and water vary significantly between hot springs, as do the microorganisms found at each site.

NOTE: the article text supplied here is for educational purposes only.
*Don't have Adobe Reader? Get the latest version.

NOTE: Some versions of Adobe Reader have problems with Google Chrome. Either resize the browser to view the paper or enable the Chrome internal PDF viewer by entering chrome://plugins in your address bar and clicking enable for the Chrome PDF Viewer plugin.