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Science of the Total Environment

Abia A.L.K.; Alisoltani A.; Ubomba-Jaswa E.

Water quality is an important public health issue given that the presence of pathogenic organisms in such waters can adversely affect human and animal health. Despite the numerous studies conducted to assess the quality of environmental waters in many countries, limited efforts have been put on investigating the microbial quality of the sediments in developing countries and how this relates to different land uses. The present study evaluated the bacterial diversity in water and sediments in a highly used South African river to find out how the different land uses influenced the bacterial diversity, and to verify the human diseases functional classes of the bacterial populations. Samples were collected on river stretches influenced by an informal, a peri-urban and a rural settlement. Genomic DNA was extracted from water and sediment samples and sequenced on an Illumina® MiSeq platform targeting the 16S rRNA gene variable region V3-V4 from the genomic DNA. Metagenomic data analysis revealed that there was a great diversity in the microbial populations associated with the different land uses, with the informal settlement having the most considerable influence on the bacterial diversity in the water and sediments of the Apies River. The Proteobacteria (69.8%), Cyanobacteria (4.3%), Bacteroidetes (2.7%), and Actinobacteria (2.7%) were the most abundant phyla; the Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Anaerolineae were the most recorded classes. Also, the sediments had a greater diversity and abundance in bacterial population than the water column. The functional profiles of the bacterial populations revealed an association with many human diseases including cancer pathways. Further studies that would isolate these potentially pathogenic organisms in the aquatic environment are therefore needed as this would help in protecting the lives of communities using such rivers, especially against emerging bacterial pathogens.

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Metagenomic analysis of the bacterial communities and their functional profiles in water and sediments of the Apies River, South Africa, as a function of land use
616-617 .

Abia A.L.K.; Alisoltani A.; Ubomba-Jaswa E.

Metagenomic analysis of the bacterial communities and their functional profiles in water and sediments of the Apies River, South Africa, as a function of land use .

Water quality is an important public health issue given that the presence of pathogenic organisms in such waters can adversely affect human and animal health. Despite the numerous studies conducted to assess the quality of environmental waters in many countries, limited efforts have been put on investigating the microbial quality of the sediments in developing countries and how this relates to different land uses. The present study evaluated the bacterial diversity in water and sediments in a highly used South African river to find out how the different land uses influenced the bacterial diversity, and to verify the human diseases functional classes of the bacterial populations. Samples were collected on river stretches influenced by an informal, a peri-urban and a rural settlement. Genomic DNA was extracted from water and sediment samples and sequenced on an Illumina® MiSeq platform targeting the 16S rRNA gene variable region V3-V4 from the genomic DNA. Metagenomic data analysis revealed that there was a great diversity in the microbial populations associated with the different land uses, with the informal settlement having the most considerable influence on the bacterial diversity in the water and sediments of the Apies River. The Proteobacteria (69.8%), Cyanobacteria (4.3%), Bacteroidetes (2.7%), and Actinobacteria (2.7%) were the most abundant phyla; the Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Anaerolineae were the most recorded classes. Also, the sediments had a greater diversity and abundance in bacterial population than the water column. The functional profiles of the bacterial populations revealed an association with many human diseases including cancer pathways. Further studies that would isolate these potentially pathogenic organisms in the aquatic environment are therefore needed as this would help in protecting the lives of communities using such rivers, especially against emerging bacterial pathogens.

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