We compared the abundance and diversity of cultivable protozoa (flagellates and amoebae) in a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) polluted soil and an unpolluted control, by isolating and cultivating clonal strains. The number of cultivable protozoa was higher in the polluted soil; however, the polluted soil displayed an impoverished community, dominated by certain taxa, such as Acanthamoeba sp. We isolated a total of 31 protozoan strains to characterize them morphologically and by 18S rRNA gene sequence analysis. This approach, i.e. combining morphological and molecular information had the advantage of providing quantitative data, information on morphology but also an accurate positioning of the isolates in 18S rRNA trees.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 2007, Vol 39, Issue 1