, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 665–676 | Cite as

Bacterial diversity of extremely alkaline bauxite residue site of alumina industrial plant using culturable bacteria and residue 16S rRNA gene clones

  • Pankaj Krishna
  • A. Giridhar Babu
  • M. Sudhakara Reddy
Original Paper


Bauxite residue (red mud), generated during the extraction of alumina from bauxite ore is characterized by high pH, high concentrations of soluble ions with low or virtually no organic matter. These extreme conditions along with numerous nutrient deficiencies, limit the microbial growth and vegetation establishment. In the present study, diversity of both cultivable and non-cultivable bacteria present in the red mud was investigated by 16S rDNA sequence analyses. The cultivable bacteria were identified as Agromyces indicus, Bacillus litoralis, B. anthracis, Chungangia koreensis, Kokuria flava, K. polaris, Microbacterium hominis, Planococcus plakortidis, Pseudomonas alcaliphila and Salinococcus roseus based on their 16S rDNA sequence analysis. These isolates were alkali tolerant, positive for one or more of the enzyme activities tested, able to produce organic acids and oxidize wide range of carbon substrates. For non-cultivable diversity of bacteria, DNA was extracted from the bauxite residue samples and 16S rDNA clone library was constructed. The 16S rDNA clones of this study showed affiliation to three major phyla predominant being betaproteobacteria (41.1 %) followed by gammaproteobacteria (37.5 %) and bacteroidetes (21.4 %). We are reporting for the first time about the bacterial diversity of this unique and extreme environment.


Red mud Clone library 16S rRNA Planococcus Pseudomonas Bacillus 



We would like to thank Department of Biotechnology (DBT), GoI, for their financial support to this project (BT/PR-4697/BCE/08/327/2004). The authors are thankful to Mr. S. K. Patnaik, NALCO, Damjodi for his help while collecting the samples and also to TIFAC-CORE, Thapar University, Patiala for providing lab facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pankaj Krishna
    • 1
  • A. Giridhar Babu
    • 1
  • M. Sudhakara Reddy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyThapar UniversityPatialaIndia

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