Skip to main content

Consortia of cyanobacteria/microalgae and bacteria in desert soils: an underexplored microbiota

Abstract

Desert ecosystem is generally considered as a lifeless habitat with extreme environmental conditions although it is colonized by extremophilic microorganisms. Cyanobacteria, microalgae, and bacteria in these habitats could tolerate harsh and rapidly fluctuating environmental conditions, intense ultraviolet radiation, and lack of water, leading to cell desiccation. They possess valuable metabolites withstanding extreme environmental conditions and make them good candidates for industrial applications. Moreover, most natural microorganisms in these extreme habitats exist as consortia that provide robustness and extensive metabolic capabilities enabling them to establish important relationships in desert environments. Engineering of such consortia of cyanobacteria, microalgae, and bacteria would be functional in the sustainable development of deserts through improving soil fertility, water preservation, primary production, pollutant removal, and maintaining soil stability. Modern tools and techniques would help in constructing highly functional cyanobacterial/microalgal–bacterial consortia that are greatly useful in the establishment of vegetation in deserts as well as in biotechnological applications.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

Download references

Acknowledgements

IP acknowledges the University of Newcastle for UNRS and UNIPRS scholarships, and SRS acknowledges the University of Newcastle for ECR HDR scholarship.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mallavarapu Megharaj.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Perera, I., Subashchandrabose, S.R., Venkateswarlu, K. et al. Consortia of cyanobacteria/microalgae and bacteria in desert soils: an underexplored microbiota. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 102, 7351–7363 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-018-9192-1

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-018-9192-1

Keywords

  • Desert soil crusts
  • Consortia
  • Cyanobacteria/microalgae and bacteria
  • Engineering consortia
  • Ecological significance