ECOLOGY AND BIODIVERSITY OF CYANOBACTERIA FROM SALINE SOILSSunil T. Pawar, Amarsinh A. Bhosale and Pravin R. Puranik
Cyanobacteria are the pioneer oxygenic phototrophs. They are ubiquitous, and are able to perform oxygenic photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation as well. Cyanobacteria are extraordinarily diverse group of gram negative prokaryotes that was originated 3.5 billion years ago. They occur normally in different habitats in the nature. They possess different biopotentials, viz Bioremediation, Biofertilizer, food and feed etc. Salinity is widespread in the world. In India about 8 million hectares of land is adversely affected by salt, leading to an appropriate loss of land-area for effective crop-production. But the problem is further increasing and current estimation is that 12 million hectares of cultivable land is under salinity. An attempt has been made to characterize different soil samples, isolate and identify the Halotolerant Cyanobacterial cultures of saline soil from different regions of Baramati Dist Pune (M.S.). Selected soil samples were characterized physicochemically. Cyanobacterial cultures were first enriched in BG-11 medium from selected saline soil samples followed by isolation, identification and purification of these cultures. Identification of cyanobacterial cultures were done microscopically based on morphological observation which was then followed by molecular characterization of only one isolate. Occurrence of two heterocystous and eight nonheterocystous genera was seen in saline soil during the present investigations. Salt tolerance observed was in between 300-500 mM in BG-11 medium. In saline soil non-heterocystous genera was found to be dominant over heterocystous as earlier reports, therefore our investigation suggests that these organisms could play very important role in bioremediation of salt affected soil and soil fertility.
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