Diversity and phylogenetic profiling of niche-specific Bacilli from extreme environments of India
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The diversity of culturable, aerobic and heterotrophic Bacillus and Bacillus-derived genera (BBDG) was investigated in various extreme environments (including thermal springs, cold deserts, mangroves, salt lakes, arid regions, salt pans and acidic soils) of India. Heat treatment followed by enrichment in different media led to a total of 893 bacterial isolates. Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) using three restriction enzymes AluI, MspI and HaeIII led to the clustering of these isolates into 12–74 groups for the different sites at 75 % similarity index, adding up to 559 groups. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing led to the identification of 392 bacilli, grouped in two families, Bacillaceae (89.03 %) and Paenibacillaceae (10.97 %), and included 13 different genera with 75 distinct species. It was found that among the thirteen genera, nine (Bacillus, Halobacillus, Lysinibacillus, Oceanobacillus, Pontibacillus, Salinibacillus, Sediminibacillus, Thalassobacillus and Virgibacillus) belonged to Bacillaceae and four (Ammoniphilus, Aneurinibacillus, Brevibacillus and Paenibacillus) belonged to Paenibacillaceae. Novel isolates tolerant to low and high pH and temperature, salt and low moisture were identified. The major outcome of the present investigation was the identification of niche-specific species and also the ubiquitous presence of selected species of BBDG, which illustrate the diversity and pervasive nature of BBDG in extreme environments.
KeywordsARDRA Bacillus Bacillus derived genera 16S rRNA gene Extreme habitats
The authors are grateful to the Division of Microbiology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi and the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP), Indian Council of Agricultural Research for providing the facilities and financial support to undertake these investigations. There are no conflicts of interest.
The experiments undertaken comply with the current laws of India, the country where the investigation was undertaken.
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