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Recovery of metallo-tolerant and antibiotic resistant psychrophilic bacteria from Siachen glacier, Pakistan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Muhammad Rafiq
  • Muhammad Hayat
  • Alexandre M Anesio
  • Syed Umair Ullah Jamil
  • Noor Hassan
  • Aamer Ali Shah
  • Fariha Hasan
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0178180
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
DateAccepted/In press - 9 May 2017
DatePublished (current) - 26 Jul 2017


Cultureable bacterial diversity of previously unexplored Siachen glacier, Pakistan, was studied. Out of 50 isolates 33 (66%) were Gram negative and 17 (34%) Gram positive. About half of the isolates were pigment producers and were able to grow at 4-37°C. 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed Gram negative bacteria dominated by Proteobacteria (especially γ-proteobacteria and β-proteobacteria) and Flavobacteria. The genus Pseudomonas (51.51%, 17) was dominant among γ- proteobacteria. β-proteobacteria constituted 4 (12.12%) Alcaligenes and 4 (12.12%) Janthinobacterium strains. Among Gram positive bacteria, phylum Actinobacteria, Rhodococcus (23.52%, 4) and Arthrobacter (23.52%, 4) were the dominating genra. Other bacteria belonged to Phylum Firmicutes with representative genus Carnobacterium (11.76%, 2) and 4 isolates represented 4 genera Bacillus, Lysinibacillus, Staphylococcus and Planomicrobium. Most of the Gram negative bacteria were moderate halophiles, while most of the Gram positives were extreme halophiles and were able to grow up to 6.12 M of NaCl. More than 2/3 of the isolates showed antimicrobial activity against multidrug resistant S. aureus, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Enterococcus faecium, Candida albicans, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus fumigatus and ATCC strains. Gram positive bacteria (94.11%) were more resistant to heavy metals as compared to Gram negative (78.79%) and showed maximum tolerance against iron and least tolerance against mercury.

    Research areas

  • Adaptation, Physiological, Antibiosis, Bacteria, Cold Temperature, Drug Resistance, Microbial, Gram-Negative Bacteria, Gram-Positive Bacteria, Ice Cover, Metals, Heavy, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Pakistan, RNA, Ribosomal, 16S, Salt-Tolerance, Sodium Chloride, Journal Article

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