Current Microbiology

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 79–83 | Cite as

Anthropogenic Activities Induce Depletion in Microbial Communities at Urban Sites of the River Ganges

  • Kunal Jani
  • Vikas Ghattargi
  • Shrikant Pawar
  • Mitali Inamdar
  • Yogesh Shouche
  • Avinash Sharma


The Ganges is the largest river of India, worshiped by Hindus with a belief that bathing in the river causes the remission of sins and is considered very pure. It is heavily polluted by the unrestricted human usage including ritual practices, urbanization, and industrialization. Such perturbations may subsequently influence the bacterial community composition and ecosystem functioning. Here, we applied targeted amplicon sequencing to determine the impact of spatial variation on the microbial community assemblage of the Ganga River. The river bacterial community demonstrates taxonomic variability across the sites with accumulation of Firmicutes (20.9%) Verrucomicrobia (6.09%), Actinobacteria (4.51%), and Synergistetes (1.16%), at rural site while Proteobacteria (49.4%) and Bacteroidetes (12.7%) predominate at urban sites. Furthermore, sites under study establish the unique taxonomic signature which could represent the impact of spatial variation on the microbial community assemblage.



This work was supported by the “Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India” (by Grant No. BT/PR/0054/NDB/52/94/2007), under the Project “Establishment of Microbial Culture Collection’. We are grateful to Center for Citizen Science for their support in sample collection.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All other authors declared no competing interests.

Supplementary material

284_2017_1352_MOESM1_ESM.docx (26 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 26 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Centre for Microbial Resource, National Centre for Cell SciencePuneIndia
  2. 2.Center for Citizen SciencePuneIndia

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