Assessment of bacterial community composition in response to uranium levels in sediment samples of sacred Cauvery River
Global industrialization is a major cause of effluent discharge from industries up to alarming concentrations. Especially, uranium concentrations in water bodies are of great concern, as its radioactivity significantly affects the persistent diversity of microbiota. Recently, continuous application of pesticides in the agricultural lands and accumulation of quartz that enter the Cauvery River has significantly increased the concentration of uranium (U) and other heavy metals. To perceive the impact of uranium on bacterial diversity in Cauvery River, sediment samples collected from polluted (UP) site with 32.4 Bq/K of U concentration and control (UNP) site were scrutinized for bacterial diversity through metagenomic analysis of the V3 region of 16S rDNA by Illumina sequencing. Taxonomic assignment revealed that the unpolluted sample was dominated by Bacteroidetes (27.7 %), and Firmicutes (25.9 %), while sediment sample from the highly polluted site revealed abundance of Proteobacteria (47.5 %) followed by Bacteroidetes (22.4 %) and Firmicutes (14.6 %). Among Proteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria was the most prevalent group followed by alpha, delta, epsilon, and beta in the uranium-polluted sample. Rare and abundant species analysis revealed that species like Idiomarina loihiensis was abundant in the pollutant sample; however, it was rare (<0.1 %) in the sample from pristine environment. Similarly, the species distribution in both the samples varied, with the bacteria potentially active in redox activity and biosorption potential dominating in the polluted sample. Outcomes of the present study demonstrated the impact of uranium and metal accumulation on the bacterial communities and further confirmed the promising candidature of specific bacterial species as bioindicators of contamination.