Rathour R, Gupta J, Mishra A, Rajeev AC, Dupont CL, Thakur IS

A comparative metagenomic study reveals microbial diversity and their role in the biogeochemical cycling of Pangong lake.

The Science of the total environment. 2020-08-20; 731.139074.

The environment of a high altitude brackish water lake presents an unprecedented reservoir for the microbial community with adaptability towards surviving stressful conditions. Pangong lake is a high altitude brackish water lake of the Himalayas situated in the eastern part of Ladakh (Indian Tibet), at the height of 4250 m above the sea level. Shotgun metagenomics sequencing of Pangong Lake sediments was performed to examine the taxonomic diversity and functional adaptations of the resident psychrophilic and psychrotolerant microbial communities of the lake (September; a temperature of ±10 °C). Proteobacteria was the most prominent phylum, and Methylophaga, Halomonas, and Marinobacter were mainly abundant at the genus level. Enzyme pathways responsible for methane metabolism, nitrogen metabolism, sulfur reduction, benzoate, and xylene degradation appeared to be complete in the metagenomic dataset. Stress response genes responsible for adaption to pH, cold, salt tolerance, osmotic stress, and oxidative stress were also found in abundance in the metagenome. We compared the Pangong lake metagenome sample to sediments and water samples from three different aquatic habitats, namely saline lake, freshwater lakes and marine ecosystem using MG-RAST server against RefSeq and Subsystem databases. The Pangong lake microbial community contains six unique genera. Regression analysis using metagenome samples suggested that Pangong lake was most closely related to the Trophic South Pacific Ocean (R = 0.971) and Socompa lake ecosystem (R = 0.991) at phylum and functional level II, respectively. Our study signifies that the functional metabolic potentiality of Pangong lake is strongly influenced by the taxonomic structure and environmental conditions. We are reporting the metagenome of the sediment sample of the Pangong lake, which unveils the microbial diversity and their functional potential.

PMID: 32417476