Profiling bacterial diversity of B2 Cave, a limestone cave of Baratang, Andaman and Nicobar islands, India

  • Arun Kumar De ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar islands
  • RAMACHANDRAN MUTHIYAN Bioinformatics Centre, ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
  • JAI SUNDER Animal Science Division, ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
  • A. KUNDU
  • S. DAM ROY
Keywords: Metagenomics, geochemical analysis, limestone cave, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, bacterial diversity, illumina sequencing


Limestone caves with unique environmental conditions, harbor some highly specialized and novel microorganisms. In the present study, bacterial diversity and taxonomic composition of B2 cave, a limestone cave of Baratang, Andaman and Nicobar Islands were investigated by using high throughput illumina sequencing platform. A total of 1,056 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) comprising of 22 bacterial phyla were detected. Proteobacteria dominated the phyla, followed by Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospirae. At class level, Gammaproteobacteria was found to be most dominant. Other highly prevalent classes were Alphaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacilli. Functional analysis of the microbiome revealed high representation of membrane transport, amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, replication and repair, energy metabolism, xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism, lipid metabolism, metabolism of cofactors and vitamins and translation. Interestingly, the cave recorded a high number of unclassified OTUs, which might represent novel species and merit further study to determine their functional significance.


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