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Microbial diversity, metagenomics and the Yucatán aquifer

Rojas-Herrera R1, M Zamudio-Maya1, L Arena-Ortiz2, RC Pless3, A O’Connor-Sánchez4

Facultad de Ingeniería Química. Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Periférico Nte. Km. 33.5, Tablaje Catastral 13615, Col. Chuburná de Hidalgo Inn, Mérida, Yucatán, México. C.P. 97203. Rafael Rojas-Herrera, e-mail:; Marcela Zamudio-Maya, e-mail:
Unidad Multidisciplinaria de Docencia e Investigación-Sisal. Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Sisal, Yucatán, México. Leticia Arena-Ortiz, e-mail:
Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro de Investigación en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada, Cerro Blanco 141, Col. Colinas del Cimatario, Querétaro, Qro., Mexico. C.P. 76090. Reynaldo Pless-Elling, e-mail:
Unidad de Biotecnología. Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán. Calle 43 No. 130, Col. Chuburná de Hidalgo, Mérida, Yucatán, México, CP 97200.

* Corresponding Author:Address Correspondence to: Aileen O’Connor-Sánchez, e-mail:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2011, 80(all), 231-240.


Mexico counts among the five countries with the highest biodiversity in the world. In the Yucatán Peninsula, there are aquatic ecosystems with a very special microbial diversity. These ecosystems are essential for the ecological equilibrium of the region, and are seriously threatened by human activities. Access and knowledge of the microbial resources of these environments have an enormous scientific interest, and could potentially result in biotechnological products which could lead to more efficient and environmentally friendly processes; it could also offer a full arsenal of microorganisms and/or novel molecules to the local and world industry to face the current needs. In recent years, with the rise of metagenomic technology, knowledge about microbial diversity in complex communities has started to develop astonishingly fast. This is because of the use of molecular methods which do not require culturing microorganisms in artificial media. Through DGGE, FISH, and TRFLP assays, 454 sequencing, Illumina sequencing, and functional analysis of metagenomic libraries, high-level scientific studies are being performed not only in microbiology, but also in other areas of knowledge. The results obtained thus far show that we are barely starting to perceive the enormous diversity present in the environments. The study and use of these resources claim for a high priority in the scientific policies of our country, and of other countries with which synergistic collaborations could be set up.


Cite This Article

R, R., Zamudio-Maya, M., Arena-Ortiz, L., Pless, R., O’Connor-Sánchez, A. (2011). Microbial diversity, metagenomics and the Yucatán aquifer. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 80(all), 231–240.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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