Editor: Rosa Margesin
Bacterial characterization of the snow cover at Spitzberg, Svalbard
Article first published online: 1 SEP 2006
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 59, Issue 2, pages 255–264, February 2007
How to Cite
Amato, P., Hennebelle, R., Magand, O., Sancelme, M., Delort, A.-M., Barbante, C., Boutron, C. and Ferrari, C. (2007), Bacterial characterization of the snow cover at Spitzberg, Svalbard. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 59: 255–264. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2006.00198.x
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2006
- Article first published online: 1 SEP 2006
- Received 28 April 2006; revised 20 June 2006; accepted 26 June 2006.First published online 1 September 2006.
- cold environment;
A sampling campaign was organized during spring 2004 in Spitzberg, Svalbard, in the area around the scientific base of Ny-Ålesund, to characterize the snow pack bacterial population. Total bacteria counts were established by 4′,6-diamino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) in the seasonal snow pack bordering the sea. On the sea shore, bacterial concentration was about 6 × 104 cells mL−1, without any significant variation according to depth. In the accumulation snow layer of the glacier, concentrations were about 2 × 104 cells mL−1, except in the 2003 summer layer, where it reached 2 × 105 cells mL−1, as the result of cell multiplication allowed by higher temperature and snow melting. Strains isolated from the seasonal snow pack were identified from their 16S rRNA gene sequences, and lodged in GenBank. They belong to the Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. They are closely related to cold environment bacteria, as revealed by phylogenetic tree constructions, and two appear to be of unknown affiliation. Using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance, it was shown that these isolates have the capacity to degrade organic compounds found in Arctic snow (propionate, acetate and formate), and this can allow them to develop when snow melts, and thus to be actively involved in snow chemistry.