Molecular Study of Indigenous Bacterial Community Composition on Exposure to Soil Arsenic Concentration Gradient


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Polish Journal of Microbiology

Polish Society of Microbiologists

Subject: Microbiology


ISSN: 1733-1331
eISSN: 2544-4646





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VOLUME 66 , ISSUE 2 (June 2017) > List of articles

Molecular Study of Indigenous Bacterial Community Composition on Exposure to Soil Arsenic Concentration Gradient

Semanti Basu / Tanima Paul / Priya Yadav / Abhijit Debnath / Keka Sarkar *

Keywords : agricultural fields, arsenic (As), bacterial community, DGGE, copy number, qPCR

Citation Information : Polish Journal of Microbiology. Volume 66, Issue 2, Pages 209-221, DOI:

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Received Date : 13-April-2016 / Accepted: 30-September-2016 / Published Online: 28-June-2017



Community structure of bacteria present in arsenic contaminated agricultural soil was studied with qPCR (quantitative PCR) and DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) as an indicator of extreme stresses. Copy number of six common bacterial taxa (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, α-, β- and γ-Proteobacteria, Firmicutes) was calculated using group specific primers of 16S rDNA. It revealed that soilcontaminated with low concentration of arsenic was dominated by both Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria but a shift towards Proteobacteria was observed with increasing arsenic concentration, and number of Actinobacteria eventually decreases. PCA (Principle Component Analysis) plot of bacterial community composition indicated a distinct resemblance among high arsenic content samples, while low arsenic content samples remained separated from others. Cluster analysis of soil parameters identifies three clusters, each of them was related to the arsenic content. Further, cluster analysis of 16S rDNA based DGGE fingerprint markedly distributed the soil bacterial populations into low (< 10 ppm) and high (> 10 ppm) arsenic content subgroups. Following analysis of diversity indices shows significant variation in bacterial community structure. MDS (Multi Dimensional Scaling) plot revealed distinction in the distribution of each sample denoting variation in bacterial diversity. Phylogenetic sequence analysis of fragments excised from DGGE gel revealed the presence of γ-Proteobacteria group across the study sites. Collectively, our experiments indicated that gradient of arsenic contamination affected the shape of the soil bacterial population by significant structural shift.

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