Table of Contents
ISRN Biodiversity
Volume 2013, Article ID 767453, 9 pages
Research Article

Microbial Diversity in Soil under Potato Cultivation from Cold Desert Himalaya, India

Biotechnological Applications, G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, Uttarakhand 263 643, India

Received 19 June 2013; Accepted 28 July 2013

Academic Editors: I. Bisht, H. Ford, R. Rico-Martinez, and P. M. Vergara

Copyright © 2013 Priyanka Sati et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mana village (Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India), situated in high altitudes (3,238 m above mean sea level) of Indian Himalayan region, represents cold desert climatic conditions. At Mana, potato is grown from May to September, while the site remains snow clad for approximately six months (from October to April). Soil samples, collected from Mana potato fields, were analyzed for cultivable microbial diversity along with the chemical and enzymatic properties. The analysis revealed colonization of soil by microflora in moderate numbers (up to 107 CFU/g soil) with limited species level. 25 morphologically distinct microbial isolates belonging to Gram +ve and Gram −ve bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi including yeast were isolated. The bacteria were tentatively identified as species of Bacillus and Pseudomonas, while the majority of the fungal isolates belonged to the species of Penicillium. These microbial isolates possessed plant growth promotion and biocontrol properties assessed mainly in terms of production of indole acetic acid and hydrolytic enzymes and phosphate solubilization. The soil, when used as “inoculum” in plant based bioassays, exhibited positive influence on plant growth related parameters. The limited diversity of cold tolerant microbial species also extends opportunity to understand the resilience possessed by these organisms under low temperature environment.