Effects of physiochemical factors on prokaryotic Biodiversity in Malaysian circumneutral hot springs

Chia S. Chan, Kok Gan Chan, Robson Ee, Kar Wai Hong, María S. Urbieta, Edgardo R. Donati, Mohd S. Shamsir, Kian M. Goh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Malaysia has a great number of hot springs, especially along the flank of the Banjaran Titiwangsa mountain range. Biological studies of the Malaysian hot springs are rare because of the lack of comprehensive information on their microbial communities. In this study, we report a cultivation-independent census to describe microbial communities in six hot springs. The Ulu Slim (US), Sungai Klah (SK), Dusun Tua (DT), Sungai Serai (SS), Semenyih (SE), and Ayer Hangat (AH) hot springs exhibit circumneutral pH with temperatures ranging from 43°C to 90°C. Genomic DNA was extracted from environmental samples and the V3-V4 hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA genes were amplified, sequenced, and analyzed. High-throughput sequencing analysis showed that microbial richness was high in all samples as indicated by the detection of 6,334-26,244 operational taxonomy units. In total, 59, 61, 72, 73, 65, and 52 bacterial phyla were identified in the US, SK, DT, SS, SE, and AH hot springs, respectively. Generally, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria dominated the bacterial communities in all hot springs. Archaeal communities mainly consisted of Crenarchaeota, Euryarchaeota, and Parvarchaeota. In beta diversity analysis, the hot spring microbial memberships were clustered primarily on the basis of temperature and salinity. Canonical correlation analysis to assess the relationship between the microbial communities and physicochemical variables revealed that diversity patterns were best explained by a combination of physicochemical variables, rather than by individual abiotic variables such as temperature and salinity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1252
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing
  • Hot spring metagenome
  • Microbial community
  • Microbial symbiosis
  • Microbiome
  • Saline pool
  • Thermophile diversity

Cite this