Bacteria from Penguin Guano, Antarctica

Latest version published by Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF) on Mar 19, 2019 Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF)

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The total number of bacteria and culturable bacteria in Ade´lie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) guano was determined during 42 days of decomposition in a location adjacent to the rookery in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica. Of the culturable bacteria, 72 randomly selected colonies were described using 49 morpho-physiological tests, 27 of which were subsequently considered significant in characterizing and differentiating the isolates. On the basis of the nucleotide sequence of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene in each of 72 pure isolates, three major phylogenetic groups were identified, namely the Moraxellaceae/Pseudomonadaceae (29 isolates), the Flavobacteriaceae (14), and the Micrococcaceae (29). Grouping of the isolates on the basis of morpho-physiological tests (whether 49 or 27 parameters) showed similar results to those based on 16S rRNA gene sequences. Clusters were characterized by considerable intra-cluster variation in both 16S rRNA gene sequences and morpho-physiological responses. High diversity in abundance and morphometry of total bacterial communities during penguin guano decomposition was supported by image analysis of epifluorescence micrographs. The results indicate that the bacterial community in penguin guano is not only one of the richest in Antarctica, but is extremely diverse, both phylogenetically and morpho-physiologically.

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How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Bacterial diversity in Adélie penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae, guano: molecular and morpho-physiological approaches, Marek K. Zdanowski Piotr Weglenski Pawel Golik Joanna M. Sasin Piotr Borsuk Magdalena J. Zmuda Anna Stankovic, (2006) FEMS Microbiol Ecol 50 (3): 163-173. DOI:


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The publisher and rights holder of this work is Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: ebe73e19-11eb-48d2-9263-fb0caa3b7b5a.  Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.




Anton Van de Putte
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
OD Nature, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences
vautierstraat 29
B-1000 Brussels
Rachel Grant
  • Point Of Contact
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross
CB3 0ET Cambridge
Data Manager ANtarctic Biodiversity Portal

Geographic Coverage

Admiralty Bay, King George Island

Bounding Coordinates South West [-63, -59], North East [-62, -58]

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 0035-05-22 / 0014-06-23

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers ebe73e19-11eb-48d2-9263-fb0caa3b7b5a