The Kutch Desert (Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India) is a unique ecosystem: in the larger part of the year it is a hot, salty desert that is flooded regularly in the Indian monsoon season. In the dry season, the crystallized salt deposits form the “white desert” in large regions. The first metagenomic analysis of the soil samples of Kutch was published in 2013, and the data were deposited in the NCBI Sequence Read Archive. At the same time, the sequences were analyzed phylogenetically for prokaryotes, especially for bacteria. In the present work, we identified DNA sequences of recently discovered giant viruses in the soil samples from the Kutch Desert. Since most giant viruses have been discovered in biofilms in industrial cooling towers, ocean water, and freshwater ponds, we were surprised to find their DNA sequences in soil samples from a seasonally very hot and arid, salty environment.
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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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Kerepesi, C., Grolmusz, V. Giant viruses of the Kutch Desert. Arch Virol 161, 721–724 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-015-2720-8
- Cooling Tower
- Word Size
- Freshwater Pond
- Giant Virus
- NCBI Short Read Archive