Microbial Ecology

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 270–282 | Cite as

Bacterial Population Structure of the Jute-Retting Environment

Original Article


Jute is one of the most versatile bast fibers obtained through the process of retting, which is a result of decomposition of stalks by the indigenous microflora. However, bacterial communities associated with the retting of jute are not well characterized. To investigate the presence of microorganisms during the process of jute retting, full-cycle rRNA approach was followed, and two 16S rRNA gene libraries, from jute-retting locations of Krishnanagar and Barrackpore, were constructed. Phylotypes affiliating to seven bacterial divisions were identified in both libraries. The bulk of clones came from Proteobacteria (∼37, 41%) and a comparatively smaller proportion of clones from the divisions—Firmicutes (∼11, 12%), Cytophaga–Flexibacter–Bacteroidetes group (CFB; ∼9, 7%), Verrucomicrobia (∼6, 5%), Acidobacteria (∼4, 5%), Chlorobiales (∼5, 5%), and Actinobacteria (∼4, 2%) were identified. Percent coverage value and diversity estimations of phylotype richness, Shannon–Weiner index, and evenness confirmed the diverse nature of both the libraries. Evaluation of the retting waters by whole cell rRNA-targeted flourescent in situ hybridization, as detected by domain- and group-specific probes, we observed a considerable dominance of the beta-Proteobacteria (25.9%) along with the CFB group (24.4%). In addition, 32 bacterial species were isolated on culture media from the two retting environments and identified by 16S rDNA analysis, confirming the presence of phyla, Proteobacteria (∼47%), Firmicutes (∼22%), CFB group (∼19%), and Actinobacteria (∼13%) in the retting niche. Thus, our study presents the first quantification of the dominant and diverse bacterial phylotypes in the retting ponds, which will further help in improving the retting efficiency, and hence the fiber quality.


Rice Straw Clone Library Proteobacteria Actinobacteria Firmicutes 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This project was funded by the grants from Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. The authors would like to thank Prof. Nirmalendu Samajpati, Botany Department, Calcutta University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India, for his help during collection of jute stems and retting water samples from West Bengal, India.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Genome Research, Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology Center, Faculty of ScienceM. S. University of BarodaBarodaIndia

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