Cave Microbiome for Human Welfare

  • Subhro Banerjee
  • D. K. Jha
  • S. R. Joshi


Nature is bountiful of living biota which ranges from 3 to 50 million and one-third of global biodiversity exists in India. Since prehistoric times, humans have exploited microorganisms for their own use. The Earth’s subsurface presents one of the finest promising locations to look for microbial life and the distinctive lithologies that life leaves behind. Studies on microbial diversity are hampered not only by the technical ability to assess the species numbers but also by the high heterogeneity of the environment, with its changing temporal and spatial microhabitats. Moreover, natural products are for the most part a booming source of drug leads. Regardless, their application in innovation of new drug has fallen out of favour. Not more than 10% of the planet’s biodiversity has been under trial for biological property; a lot of functional natural compounds are pending innovation. The test is how to get in touch with this natural chemical diversity. In this aspect, research on caves is the utmost need of the hour to increase our acceptance of the means of biological adjustment to severe circumstances, the relations involving organisms and minerals, the function of inorganic matter in diverse dark ecosystems and the evolution and speciation of biological schemes under acute circumstances, progressing to a range of biotechnological uses. In the present chapter, a handful of the important caves around the world are described, together with an analysis of the potential health effects from the microbes inhabiting such ecosystems. Needless to emphasise, such type of study spanning over length and breadth of India is the urgent need of the hour, which hopefully would unravel many of the microbes of biotechnological importance. Suggestions for potential investigations are highlighted to promote going with the flow from qualitative research to additional experimentations.


Microbes Diversity Human welfare Cave Bioprospecting Geomicrobiology 



SB would like to acknowledge the financial assistance received from the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Government of India, in the form of National Postdoctoral Fellowship (N-PDF) Vide Sanction No. PDF/2017/001697.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subhro Banerjee
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. K. Jha
    • 1
  • S. R. Joshi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyGauhati UniversityGuwahatiIndia
  2. 2.Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology and BioinformaticsNorth-Eastern Hill UniversityShillongIndia

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