Analysis of early bacterial communities on volcanic deposits on the island of Miyake (Miyake-jima), Japan: A 6-year study at a fixed site

Reiko Fujimura, Yoshinori Sato, Tomoyasu Nishizawa, Kenji Nanba, Kenshiro Oshima, Masahira Hattori, Takashi Kamijo, Hiroyuki Ohta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial colonization on new terrestrial substrates represents the initiation of new soil ecosystem formation. In this study, we analyzed early bacterial communities growing on volcanic ash deposits derived from the 2000 Mount Oyama eruption on the island of Miyake (Miyake-jima), Japan. A site was established in an unvegetated area near the summit and investigated over a 6-year period from 2003 to 2009. Collected samples were acidic (pH 3.0-3.6), did not utilize any organic substrates in ECO microplate assays (Biolog), and harbored around 10) 6 cells (g dry weight) -1 of autotrophic Fe(II) oxidizers by most-probable-number (MPN) counts. Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans, and the Leptospirillum groups I, II and III were found to be abundant in the deposits by clone library analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. The numerical dominance of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was also supported by analysis of the gene coding for the large subunit of the form I ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). Comparing the 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from samples differing in age, shifts in Fe(II)-oxidizing populations seemed to occur with deposit aging. The detection of known 16S rRNA gene sequences from Fe(III)-reducing acidophiles promoted us to propose the acidity-driven iron cycle for the early microbial ecosystem on the deposit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobes and Environments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Acidithiobacillus
  • Chemolithotrophs
  • Early ecosystem
  • Leptospirillum
  • Volcanic deposit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Soil Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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