Silicified Microbial Community at Steep Cone Hot Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Fumio Inagaki, Yoshinobu Motomura, Katsumi Doi, Sachihiro Taguchi, Eiji Izawa, Donald R. Lowe, Seiya Ogata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


At Steep Cone hot spring, Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, a mound of siliceous deposits called “siliceous sinter” forms from discharged boiling geothermal water that is supersaturated with amorphous silica. Electron-probe microanalyzer (EPMA) observations suggested that silica is deposited on the surface of the cells and that microorganisms affect the formation of the siliceous sinter. EPMA signals and backscattered electron images of sinter samples taken at the inner wall of the boiling pool revealed framboidal pyrite structures associated with a network of silicified microbial structures. The structure of bacterial community in a beige-colored sinter sediment (75.8°C, pH 8.6) was studied by molecular clone type phylogenetic analysis of PCR-mediated 16S rDNA fragments. The bacterial rDNA clones found indicated the presence of a complex community in the sinter sediment. Sequences closely related to the genera Thermus and Saccharomonospora were dominated; evidence of indigenous microbial components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalMicrobes and Environments
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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