Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 387–396 | Cite as

Bacterial Diversity in Alpine Lakes: A Review from the Third Pole Region

  • Namita Paudel AdhikariEmail author
  • Subash Adhikari
  • Xiaobo LiuEmail author
  • Liang Shen
  • Zhengquan Gu
Biogeology and Marine Geology


Microorganisms are unique among all of the living organisms because of their high population size, advanced genetic diversity, short generation time, and quick response to the small change in environmental conditions. Remote alpine lakes of the Third Pole region provide the unique habitat for microorganisms acting as a natural laboratory and offering the information about the ecological roles of microorganisms. Many researchers focused on microbial communities as well as the impact of physicochemical, biological and hydrological parameters in lakes of this region since decades but the comprehensive review focusing on bacterial diversity and the role of environmental parameters still lacks. Here we reviewed bacterial diversity in lakes of the Third Pole region by analyzing 16S rRNA clone libraries accessed from previous research findings. A total of 5 388 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were analyzed and classified into different phylogenetic groups. The average relative abundance of dominant taxa includes Betaproteobacteria (19%), Bacteroidetes (18%), Gammaproteobacteria (16%), Actinobacteria (15%), Alphaproteobacteria (14%), Cyanobacteria (7%), and Firmicutes (5%). Several adaptational strategies were adopted by these dominant bacterial groups in order to accommodate in the respective habitat. Nevertheless, lake water properties like temperature, pH, salinity, incident UV radiation, turbidity, and nutrients also played role in bacterial diversity.

Key Words

bacterial diversity alpine lakes 16S rRNA Third Pole region 


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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41425004). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, Part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina
  4. 4.Janapriya Multiple CampusTribhuvan UniversityPokharaNepal
  5. 5.Kathmandu Center for Research and EducationCAS-TUKathmanduNepal

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