Monsoonal upwelling along south and central west coast of India leads to intense biological productivity. As a consequence of excess organic matter production following upwelling during June–October and low dissolved oxygen in the upwelled waters, denitrification occurs in the near shore waters. Implicitly, these processes ought to bring alterations in microbial communities. Therefore, diversity and community structure of bacteria from subsurface layers of a tropical region experiencing intense seasonal lows of oxygen were analyzed through sequencing of 16S rRNA gene clones. The overall diversity was more during hypoxic period of Fall intermonsoon (FIM, October) compared either to Spring intermonsoon (SIM, March) or summer monsoon (SuM, June) months. As many as 14 lineages of bacterial domains: Gammaproteobacteria (37%), Alphaproteobacteria (21%), Cyanobacteria (20%), Deltaproteobacteria (3%), Firmicutes (3%), Betaproteobacteria (2%), Acidobacteria (2%), Actinobacteria (7%), Marinimicrobia (2%), Bacteroidetes (1%), Verrucomicrobia (1%), Planctomycetes (0.4%), Chloroflexi (0.2%) and Omnitrophica bacterium (0.2%), were recognized from our coastal location. Notably, sequences of Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi and Omnitrophica bacterium were found exclusively during FIM. A generally higher representation of sequences of Betaproteobacteria during SuM and of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes during SIM was discernible. This study is thus useful to recognize that microbial community might undergo strong temporal shifts in the monsoon affected tropical coastal ecosystems.
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Director, CSIR-NIO for facilities and encouragement; MoES (Ministry of Earth Sciences), Government of India for financial support under SIBER program [GAP 2658] and CSIR under Projects PSC0206 and BSC0111; the CSIR for Senior Research Fellowship to JG. This is CSIR-NIO contribution number 6362.
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