, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 377-395
Date: 28 May 2010

Bacterial biodiversity from Roopkund Glacier, Himalayan mountain ranges, India

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The bacterial diversity of two soil samples collected from the periphery of the Roopkund glacial lake and one soil sample from the surface of the Roopkund Glacier in the Himalayan ranges was determined by constructing three 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. The three clone libraries yielded a total of 798 clones belonging to 25 classes. Actinobacteria was the most predominant class (>10% of the clones) in the three libraries. In the library from the glacial soil, class Betaproteobacteria (24.2%) was the most predominant. The rarefaction analysis indicated coverage of 43.4 and 41.2% in the samples collected from the periphery of the lake thus indicating a limited bacterial diversity covered; at the same time, the coverage of 98.4% in the glacier sample indicated most of the diversity was covered. Further, the bacterial diversity in the Roopkund glacier soil was low, but was comparable with the bacterial diversity of a few other glaciers. The results of principal component analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene clone library data, percentages of OTUs and biogeochemical data revealed that the lake soil samples were different from the glacier soil sample and the biogeochemical properties affected the diversity of microbial communities in the soil samples.

Communicated by A. Oren.