Characterization of microbial communities in seven wetlands with different anthropogenic burden using Next Generation Sequencing in Bogotá, Colombia

Nathalia Ballesteros, Luisa Páez, Nicolas Luna, Ariana Reina, Vanessa Urrea, Catalina Sánchez, Angie Ramírez, Juan David Ramirez, Marina Muñoz

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Wetlands represent key ecosystems due to their remarkable biodiversity, ecological functions and multiple ecosystem services provided. In Colombia, there are 31,702 wetlands, 13 of which are in Bogotá, capital of the country. Despite the fundamental socioecological support of these aquatic ecosystems, a tremendous loss and degradation of these ecosystems has been observed due to anthropogenic perturbations. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the status of seven Bogotá wetlands with variable anthropogenic interventions by measuring organoleptic, physicochemical, and microbiological parameters, using commercial kits, highly sensitive equipment, and next-generation sequencing of the 16S- and 18S-rRNA genes. Our findings describe the status of seven wetlands with different anthropogenic burden in Bogotá-Colombia where physicochemical and microbiology signals of contamination were observed. Additionally, some profiles in the composition of the microbial communities, together with certain physicochemical characteristics, may represent an insight into the environmental dynamics, where Beta Proteobacteria such as Malikia represent a potential keystone in aquatic ecosystems impacted by wastewater effluent discharges; the presence of nitrates and phosphates explain the abundance of bacteria capable of oxidizing these compounds, such as Polynucleobacter. Moreover, the presence of specific prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, such as Clostridium, Cryptococcus, Candida, and Naegleria, reported in one or more of the wetlands assessed here, could represent a possible pathogenic risk for human and animal health. This study performed a complete evaluation of seven Bogotá wetlands with different anthropogenic impacts for the first time, and our findings emphasize the importance of maintaining continuous monitoring of these water bodies given their remarkable ecological importance and potential spill-over of several pathogens to humans and animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16973
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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