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Sediment samples collected off the coast of San Diego were analyzed for actinomycete diversity using culture-independent techniques. Eight new operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the Streptomycetaceae were identified as well as new diversity within previously cultured marine OTUs. Sequences belonging to the marine actinomycete genus Salinispora were also detected, despite the fact that this genus has only been reported from more tropical environments. Independent analyses of marine sediments from the Canary Basin (3814 m) and the South Pacific Gyre (5126 and 5699 m) also revealed Salinispora sequences providing further support for the occurrence of this genus in deep-sea sediments. Efforts to culture Salinispora spp. from these samples have yet to be successful. This is the first report of Salinispora spp. from marine sediments > 1100 m and suggests that the distribution of this genus is broader than previously believed.


Stephanie Forschner-Dancause and Dave C. Rowley are in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

David C. Smith is from the Graduate School of Oceanography.