Bacteria with an actinomycetes-like morphology have recently been discovered, and the class Ktedonobacteria was created for these bacteria in the phylum Chloroflexi. They may prove to be a valuable resource with the potential to produce unprecedented secondary metabolites. However, our understanding of their diversity, richness, habitat, and ecological significance is very limited. We herein developed a 16S rRNA gene-targeted, Ktedonobacteria-specific primer and analyzed ktedonobacterial amplicons. We investigated abundance, diversity, and community structure in forest and garden soils, sand, bark, geothermal sediment, and compost. Forest soils had the highest diversity among the samples tested (1181–2934 operational taxonomic units [OTUs]; Chao 1 estimate, 2503–5613; Shannon index, 4.21–6.42). A phylogenetic analysis of representative OTUs revealed at least eight groups within unclassified Ktedonobacterales, expanding the known diversity of this order. Ktedonobacterial communities markedly varied among our samples. The common mesic environments (soil, sand, and bark) were dominated by diverse phylotypes within the eight groups. In contrast, compost and geothermal sediment samples were dominated by known ktedonobacterial families (Thermosporotrichaceae and Thermogemmatisporaceae, respectively). The relative abundance of Ktedonobacteria in the communities, based on universal primers, was ≤0.8%, but was 12.9% in the geothermal sediment. These results suggest that unknown diverse Ktedonobacteria inhabit common environments including forests, gardens, and sand at low abundances, as well as extreme environments such as geothermal areas.
- Ktedonobacteria-specific primer