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Arch Microbiol. 2018 Jan;200(1):1-18. doi: 10.1007/s00203-017-1429-3. Epub 2017 Sep 8.

Microbiological studies of hot springs in India: a review.

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Biosafety Support Unit, Regional Centre for Biotechnology, NPC Building, 5-6 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, 110003, India.
Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar, 751023, India.


The earliest microbiological studies on hot springs in India date from 2003, a much later date compared to global attention in this striking field of study. As of today, 28 out of 400 geothermal springs have been explored following both culturable and non-culturable approaches. The temperatures and pH of the springs are 37-99 °C and 6.8-10, respectively. Several studies have been performed on the description of novel genera and species, characterization of different bio-resources, metagenomics of hot spring microbiome and whole genome analysis of few isolates. 17 strains representing novel species and many thermostable enzymes, including lipase, protease, chitinase, amylase, etc. with potential biotechnological applications have been reported by several authors. Influence of physico-chemical conditions, especially that of temperature, on shaping the hot spring microbiome has been established by metagenomic investigations. Bacteria are the predominant life forms in all the springs with an abundance of phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Thermi, Bacteroidetes, Deinococcus-Thermus and Chloroflexi. In this review, we have discussed the findings on all microbiological studies that have been carried out to date, on the 28 hot springs. Further, the possibilities of extrapolating these studies for practical applications and environmental impact assessment towards protection of natural ecosystem of hot springs have also been discussed.


Hot spring; Hot spring resources; India; Metagenomics; Novel species; Whole genome

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