Inventory of new microbial taxa from Iran

Document Type: Original Research Papers

Authors

1 Extremophiles Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology and Center of Excellence in Phylogeny of Living Organisms, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, I.R. Iran; Microorganisms Bank, Iranian Biological Resource Center (IBRC), ACECR, Tehran, I.R. Iran

2 Extremophiles Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology and Center of Excellence in Phylogeny of Living Organisms, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, I.R. Iran

Abstract

Microorganisms constitute more than half of the Earth's biomass and in addition to quantity,
they represent great diversity. In January 2013, the number of officially registered names for
prokaryotic microorganisms at the genus and species levels were, respectively, approximately
2100 and 12000. Current authorized methods for classification and identification of new
microbial taxa are polyphasic approaches which make use of a codified set of characteristics
for classification of microorganisms. Here, we present a brief overview of criteria by which
prokaryotes are classified and subsequently summarize some recent findings on the microbial
flora of Iran. Among all microbial taxa identified to date, six taxa at the genus level and 24
taxa at the species level were first discovered in and reported from Iran. This attests to the
existence of a rich microbial diversity in Iran. Among the species, four belong to the Archaea
and the others belong to the Bacteria domain. The bacterial taxa consist of six Gram- negative
species within Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes phylems and 20 Gram-positive taxa that
are among the Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and related organisms. It is incumbent that further
focus be placed on the rich ecological diversity of Iran, and it is expected that this will result
in identification of new endemic microorganisms.

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