Microbial Diversity of Some Sabkha and Desert Sites in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi J Biol Sci. 2020 Oct;27(10):2778-2789
Authors: Alotaibi MO, Sonbol HS, Alwakeel SS, Suliman RS, Fodah RA, Abu Jaffal AS, AlOthman NI, Mohammed AE
Several studies isolated fungal and bacterial species from extreme environments, such as Sabkha and hot deserts, as their natural habitat, some of which are of medicinal importance. Current research aimed investigating the microbial (fungi and bacteria) diversity and abundance in Sabkha and desert areas in Saudi Arabia. Soil samples from nine different geographical areas (Al-Aushazia lake, AlQasab, AlKasar, Tabuk, Al-Kharj, Al-Madina, Jubail, Taif and Abqaiq) were collected and cultured for microbial isolation. Isolated fungi and bacteria were identified by molecular techniques (PCR and sequencing). Based on 18S rDNA sequencing, 203 fungal species belonging to 33 genera were identified. The most common fungal genera were Fusarium, Alternaria, Chaetomium, Aspergillus Cochliobolus and Pencillium, while the most common species were Chaetomium globosum and Fusarium oxysporum. By 16S rDNA sequencing 22 bacterial species belonging to only two genera, Bacillus and Lactobacillus, were identified. The most commonly isolated bacterial species were Bacillus subtilis and Lactobacillus murinus. Some fungal species were confined to specific locations, such as Actinomyces elegans, Fusarium proliferatum, Gymnoascus reesii and Myzostoma spp. that were only isolated from Al-Aushazia soil. AlQasab soil had the highest microbial diversity among other areas with abundances of 23.5% and 4.4% of total fungi, and bacteria, respectively. Findings of this study show a higher degree of fungal diversity than that of bacteria in all studied areas. Further studies needed to investigate the connection between some isolated species and their habitat ecology, as well as to identify those of medicinal importance.
PMID: 32994737 [PubMed]