, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 821–828 | Cite as

“Trade-off” in Antarctic bacteria: limnetic psychrotrophs concede multiple enzyme expressions for multiple metal resistance

  • Maria-Judith De Souza
  • P. A. Loka Bharathi
  • Shanta Nair
  • D. Chandramohan
Original Paper


The present study examines the metal and antibiotic resistant bacteria in ice and water from lakes east and west of the Indian base camp (Maitri) in Antarctica. The isolates from western and eastern lakes showed distinct geographical differences in properties like metal resistance and enzyme expression. This may be attributed to high organic loading in the lakes on the west of Maitri. However, there was no marked geopraphical distinction in antibiotic resistance between the lakes. Bacteria from the lakes on the eastern side showed resistance to three or more metals including mercury while, those from the western were resistant to only 1–2 metals excluding mercury. Multiple enzyme expression was more pronounced in the lakes on the western side. On the eastern side multiple metal resistance was encountered in bacterial isolates associated with fewer enzyme expressions suggesting a “trade-off”. Thus these Antarctic isolates from the east trade their ability to express multiple enzymes for developing resistance to multiple metals including mercury.


Multiple metal-resistance Antibiotic-resistance Trade-off Antarctic freshwater 



PAL thanks the leader and members of the 13th Antarctic expedition for all the help rendered during the expedition. Dr. V.K. Dargalkar’s able assistance in the strategic collection of water samples from freshwater lakes in and around the Indian base camp–Maitri is acknowledged. NIO no. 4215.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Judith De Souza
    • 1
  • P. A. Loka Bharathi
    • 1
  • Shanta Nair
    • 1
  • D. Chandramohan
    • 1
  1. 1.Microbiology LaboratoryNational Institute of OceanographyDona PaulaIndia

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