Geochemistry and Bacterial Recovery from Hindu Kush Range Glacier and Their Potential for Metal Resistance and Antibiotic Production

Muhammad Rafiq*, Muhammad Hayat, Sahib Zada, Wasim Sajjad, Noor Hassan, Fariha Hasan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, we isolated and characterized bacteria and analyzed the geochemistry of unexplored non-polar Tirich Mir glacier, Chitral, Pakistan. The glacier is located in the Hindu Kush mountains range with the highest peak of 7708 m. Three types of samples, i.e. glacial ice, sediment, and melt water were collected. The geochemical analysis demonstrated a higher concentration of heavy metals Fe +2 , Mn +2 , and Cr +2 , cations Na +2 , Ca +2 , and Mg +2 , anions SO 4 −2 and Cl −1 . While among the dissolved free amino acids, tyrosine was detected in high concentration. A total of 43 strains were isolated based on colony morphology. Molecular identification revealed these isolates belong to four phyla, i.e. Proteobacteria 23(54%), Bacteroidetes 4(9%), Actinobacteria 7(16%), and Firmicutes 9(21). Gram-negative bacteria were enrich relative to Gram-positive bacteria. The bacterial communities were more abundant in sediment (21) than in water (12) and ice (10) samples. The isolates also exhibited potent activity against both ATCC and multidrug-resistant clinical isolates. The increased level of tolerance against heavy metals (Cd +2 , Cr +3 , Hg +2 , Fe +3 , Ar +3 , and Ni +2 ) and NaCl was observed. Tirich Mir glacier was found to have a diverse bacterial community structure, with potential candidates having ability to produce bioactive metabolites with possible industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-338
Number of pages13
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Volume36
Issue number4
Early online date15 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • bioactive metabolites
  • halophiles
  • metal tolerance
  • non-polar glaciers
  • Psychrophiles
  • Tirich Mir

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