, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 415–424 | Cite as

Diversity and distribution of alkaliphilic psychrotolerant bacteria in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau permafrost region

  • Gaosen Zhang
  • Xiaojun Ma
  • Fujun Niu
  • Maoxing Dong
  • Huyuan Feng
  • Lizhe An
  • Guodong Cheng
Original Paper


The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau represents a unique permafrost environment, being a result of high elevation caused by land uplift. And the urgency was that plateau permafrost was degrading rapidly under the current predicted climatic warming scenarios. Hence, the permafrost there was sampled to recover alkaliphilic bacteria populations. The viable bacteria on modified PYGV agar were varied between 102 and 10CFU/g of dry soil. Forty-eight strains were gained from 18 samples. Through amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) and phylogenetic analyses, these isolates fell into three categories: high G + C gram positive bacteria (82.3%), low G + C gram positive bacteria (7.2%), and gram negative α-proteobacteria (10.5%). The strains could grow at pH values ranging from 6.5 to 10.5 with optimum pH in the range of 9–9.5. Their growth temperatures were below 37°C and the optima ranging from 10 to 15°C. All strains grew well when NaCl concentration was below 15%. These results indicate that there are populations of nonhalophilic alkaliphilic psychrotolerant bacteria within the permafrost of the Qinhai-Tibet plateau. The abilities of many of the strains to produce extracellular protease, amylase and cellulase suggest that they might be of potential value for biotechnological exploitation.


16S rDNA Alkaliphilic psychrotolerant bacteria Qinghai–Tibet plateau Permafrost 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaosen Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiaojun Ma
    • 1
  • Fujun Niu
    • 2
  • Maoxing Dong
    • 1
  • Huyuan Feng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lizhe An
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guodong Cheng
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Life Sciences, Key Lab of Arid and Grassland Agrioecology of MOELanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CASLanzhouChina

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