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Applied Geochemistry (2012) 1375-1383
Microbial diversity in contaminated soils along the T22 trench of the Chernobyl experimental platform
V. Chapon1, L. Piette1, M.-H. Vesvres2, F. Coppin3, C. Le Marrec4, R. Christen5, N. Theodorakopoulos1, L. Février3, 5, S. Levchuk, A. Martin-Garin3, C. Berthomieu1, C. Sergeant2

The diversity of bacterial communities exposed to radioactive contamination in Chernobyl soils was examined by a combination of molecular and culture-based approaches. A set of six radioactive soil samples, exhibiting high levels of 137Cs contamination, were collected from the T22 trench. Three samples were also collected in nearby soils with low contamination. Complex bacterial community structures were observed in both highly and weakly contaminated samples, using a molecular approach targeting the 16S rRNA gene. However, the presence of specific populations within samples from highly contaminated soils could not be revealed by statistical analysis of the DGGE profiles. More than 200 culturable isolates, representative of dominant morphotypes, were grouped into 83 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) and affiliated to Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma-Proteobacteria and Bacteroïdetes. No specific pattern linked to contamination was observed for these culturable bacteria. The results show that both highly and weakly contaminated soils host a wide diversity of bacteria, suggesting that long term exposure to radionuclides does not lead to the extinction of bacterial diversity.
1 :  BCMPB - Biologie cellulaire et moléculaire des plantes et des bactéries
2 :  CENBG - Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan
3 :  IRSN - Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire
4 :  ISVV - Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin
5 :  ISBDC - Institut de signalisation, biologie du développement et cancer
Sciences du Vivant/Microbiologie et Parasitologie/Bactériologie