Microbial Diversity in North Western Himalayan Agroecosystems: Functions and Applications

  • Vandana Jaggi
  • N. T. Brindhaa
  • Manvika Sahgal
Part of the Rhizosphere Biology book series (RHBIO)


North Western Himalayan region is home to varied ecosystems ranging from completely snow-covered mountain slopes, alpine meadows, dense forests, and agricultural terraces across altitudinal gradients. The pristine habitats of Himalayan region have been the hotspot for the exploration of microbial diversity. Both classical and molecular approaches have been utilized in biodiversity studies. Lately metagenomic analysis based on next-generation sequencing has become common to estimate the abundance and diversity of both bacteria and fungi. Further, 16S rDNA sequencing-based metagenome analysis help in determining the taxonomic composition of resident microbial community. Microbial communities of mountain ecosystems are unique and diverse. The microbial community structure in this region is governed by various factors including temperature and altitudinal gradients, climate change, soil characteristics, and plant species diversity. Forests and agriculture are primary livelihood source in Himalayas, so investigation of microbes in these niches becomes important. Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria are dominant phyla in high-altitude cold Himalayan desert soil while Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes at lower altitude. In contrast, Firmicutes followed by Proteobacteria dominated hot springs, while Acidobacteria is followed by Actinobacteria alpine meadows. Considering that microbes are inherent component of mountain agroecosystems that are faced with constraints such as remoteness and inaccessibility, marginality, and fragility in terms of moisture stress and the poor soil conditions and a short growing season. Therefore, a comprehensive approach with emphasis on microbial component is required as a long-term strategy for agriculture sustainability in the region.


North Western Himalayan region Metagenome Microbial diversity Pristine habitats Agroecosystem 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vandana Jaggi
    • 1
  • N. T. Brindhaa
    • 1
  • Manvika Sahgal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyG. B. Pant University of Agriculture and TechnologyPantnagarIndia

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