Exploring the taxonomical and functional profile of As Burgas hot spring focusing on thermostable β-galactosidases

María Eugenia DeCastro, Michael P. Doane, Elizabeth Ann Dinsdale, Esther Rodríguez-Belmonte, María Isabel González-Siso

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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In the present study we investigate the microbial community inhabiting As Burgas geothermal spring, located in Ourense (Galicia, Spain). The approximately 23 Gbp of Illumina sequences generated for each replicate revealed a complex microbial community dominated by Bacteria in which Proteobacteria and Aquificae were the two prevalent phyla. An association between the two most prevalent genera, Thermus and Hydrogenobacter, was suggested by the relationship of their metabolism. The high relative abundance of sequences involved in the Calvin–Benson cycle and the reductive TCA cycle unveils the dominance of an autotrophic population. Important pathways from the nitrogen and sulfur cycle are potentially taking place in As Burgas hot spring. In the assembled reads, two complete ORFs matching GH2 beta-galactosidases were found. To assess their functional characterization, the two ORFs were cloned and overexpressed in E. coli. The pTsbg enzyme had activity towards o-Nitrophenyl-β-d-galactopyranoside (ONPG) and p-Nitrophenyl-β-d-fucopyranoside, with high thermal stability and showing maximal activity at 85 °C and pH 6, nevertheless the enzyme failed to hydrolyze lactose. The other enzyme, Tsbg, was unable to hydrolyze even ONPG or lactose. This finding highlights the challenge of finding novel active enzymes based only on their sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021


  • β-galactosidases
  • As Burgas geothermal spring
  • Microbial community
  • Proteobacteria
  • Aquificae
  • novel active enzymes


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