Archaeal Diversity in the Haloalkaline Lake Elmenteita in Kenya
Mwirichia, Romano K.
Muigai, Ann W.
Boga, Hamadi I.
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A non-culture approach was used to study the archaeal diversity in Lake Elmenteita, Kenya. Five different sampling points were selected randomly within the lake. Wet sediments and water samples were collected from each sampling point. In addition, dry mud cake was collected from three points where the lake had dried. DNA was extracted from these samples and the 16S rRNA genes were amplified using primers described to be Domain-specific for Archaea. Eleven clone libraries were constructed using PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes. A total of 1,399 clones were picked and analysed via ARDRA. 170 ARDRA patterns were unique and the respective clones were selected for sequencing. 149 clones gave analysable sequences. BLAST analysis showed that 49 belong to the Domain Archaea while the others were either chimera or affiliated to eukaryotic taxa. Comparative sequence analysis of archaeal clones affiliated them to a wide range of genera. The order Halobacteriales was represented by members of the genera Natronococcus, Halovivax, Halobiforma, Halorubrum, and Halalkalicoccus. The highest percentage (46%) of the clones, however, belonged to uncultured members of the Domain Archaea in the order Halobacteriales. The results show that the archaeal diversity in the lake could be higher than previously reported.