Bacterial community structure in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, Chile

Kevin P. Drees, Julia W. Neilson, Julio L. Betancourt, Jay Quade, David A. Henderson, Barry M. Pryor, Raina M. Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Soils from the hyperarid Atacama Desert of northern Chile were sampled along an east-west elevational transect (23.75 to 24.70°S) through the driest sector to compare the relative structure of bacterial communities. Analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles from each of the samples revealed that microbial communities from the extreme hyperarid core of the desert clustered separately from all of the remaining communities. Bands sequenced from DGGE profiles of two samples taken at a 22-month interval from this core region revealed the presence of similar populations dominated by bacteria from the Gemmatimonadetes and Planctomycetes phyla.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7902-7908
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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