Diversity of Halophilic Archaea at Salt Pans Around Bhavnagar Coast, Gujarat

Abstract

Microorganisms represent the richest repertoire of molecular and chemical diversity in nature comprising the most diverse forms of life. Saline extreme environment harbours a substantial fraction of the biodiversity and greater understanding of the environment which is a prerequisite for protecting it. The Archaeal diversity of hypersaline environment has been studied previously using both culture-independent and culture-based methods. Quite often molecular and culture-based methods yield different results and in some cases lower diversity is recovered by molecular techniques than culturable diversity, while in other instances the cultivated isolates are not related to the sequences retrieved directly from the environmental samples. Archaeal diversity at genus level is therefore generally very low, hence efforts have been made to isolate and characterize indigenous halophilic archaea from hypersaline environment of salt pans of New Port and Nari at Bhavnagar coast. Thirteen isolates obtained, exhibited variable characteristics based on morphology, physiological and biochemical tests. Among these, twelve isolates were non-alkaliphilic and one was alkaliphilic. The compiled results of α-haloarchaeal diversity index analysis revealed that highest diversity, evenness and richness was in sediments at site Newport. β-diversity results suggested that both the sites possessed similar species diversity. The results of percentage occurrence ranged from 1.5 to 16.3 %, while relative frequency was in the range of 20–100 %. Results indicated low abundance of Natrialba in water and sediments at Nari. The present study provides insights in culturable diversity of extreme halophilies at Bhavnagar coast which may open the way for development of novel applications.

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Correspondence to Bharti P. Dave.

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Dave, B.P., Soni, A. Diversity of Halophilic Archaea at Salt Pans Around Bhavnagar Coast, Gujarat. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., India, Sect. B Biol. Sci. 83, 225–232 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40011-012-0124-z

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Keywords

  • Hypersaline environment
  • Archaeal biodiversity
  • α and β diversity
  • Evenness
  • Richness