Bacterial Diversity of Terrestrial Crystalline Volcanic Rocks, Iceland

Laura C. Kelly, Charles S. Cockell, Aude Herrera-Belaroussi, Yvette Piceno, Gary Andersen, Todd DeSantis, Eoin Brodie, Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, Viggo Marteinsson, Franck Poly, Xavier LeRoux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Bacteria inhabiting crystalline rocks from two terrestrial Icelandic volcanic lava flows of similar age and from the same geographical region, but differing in porosity and mineralogy, were characterised. Microarray (PhyloChip) and clone library analysis of 16S rRNA genes revealed the presence of a diverse assemblage of bacteria in each lava flow. Both methods suggested a more diverse community at the Dmadalshraun site (rhyolitic/andesitic lava flow) than that present at the Hnausahraun site (basaltic lava flow). Proteobacteria dominated the clone library at the Dmadalshraun site, while Acidobacteria was the most abundant phylum in the Hnausahraun site. Although analysis of similarities of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiles suggested a strong correlation of community structure with mineralogy, rock porosity may also play an important role in shaping the bacterial community in crystalline volcanic rocks. Clone sequences were most similar to uncultured microorganisms, mainly from soil environments. Of these, Antarctic soils and temperate rhizosphere soils were prominent, as were clones retrieved from Hawaiian and Andean volcanic soils. The novel diversity of these Icelandic microbial communities was supported by the finding that up to 46% of clones displayed < 85% sequence identities to sequences currently deposited in the RDP database.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Bacteria
  • Biodiversity
  • Geologic Sediments
  • Iceland
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Volcanic Eruptions


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