16S rRNA phylogenetic analysis and quantification of Korarchaeota indigenous to the hot springs of Kamchatka, Russia. Academic Article uri icon


  • The candidate archaeal division Korarchaeota is known primarily from deeply branching sequences of 16S rRNA genes PCR-amplified from hydrothermal springs. Parallels between the phylogeny of these genes and the geographic locations where they were identified suggested that Korarchaeota exhibit a high level of endemism. In this study, the influence of geographic isolation and select environmental factors on the diversification of the Korarchaeota was investigated. Fourteen hot springs from three different regions of Kamchatka, Russia were screened by PCR using Korarchaeota-specific and general Archaea 16S rRNA gene-targeting primers, cloning, and sequencing. Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences with Korarchaeota 16S rRNA sequences previously identified from around the world suggested that all Kamchatka sequences cluster together in a unique clade that subdivides by region within the peninsula. Consistent with endemism, 16S rRNA gene group-specific quantitative PCR of all Kamchatka samples detected only the single clade of Korarchaeota that was found by the non-quantitative PCR screening. In addition, their genes were measured in only low numbers; small Korarchaeota populations would present fewer chances for dispersal to and colonization of other sites. Across the entire division of Korarchaeota, common geographic locations, temperatures, or salinities of identification sites united sequence clusters at different phylogenetic levels, suggesting varied roles of these factors in the diversification of Korarchaeota.

publication date

  • January 2011