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Preliminary Screening and Compositional Analysis of Bacterial Biofilm from Hypogean Environments of Meghalaya, India

Abstract

Hypogean environments comprising of caves and subterranean habitats have long been recognized as a nutrient-deficient environment. To overcome limitation, selfish competition for resources is replaced by cooperative and mutualistic microbial associations of which biofilm formation is a phenomenon. The hypogean habitats in the form of caves in Meghalaya are diverse and some are among the largest in Asia. These caves have so far not yet attracted much attention of geomicrobiologists. On a preliminary scale, two different caves were selected for study of bacterial biofilm at different distances from the cave entrance. A total of 18 different morphotypes of bacteria were obtained from Mawsmai cave and 8 from Mawmluh cave. Moreover, as extracellular substrates can be converted into exopolysachharide of biofilm bacteria by secreted enzymes, e.g., glucansucrase (which have applications in various industries like pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic, agricultural, photography and mining), we also attempted to screen the most potential glucansucrase producing bacterium from the isolates.

Keywords Bacteria, biofilm, cave, glucansucrase.