Abundance and Diversity of Phages, Microbial Taxa, and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Sediments of the River Ganges Through Metagenomic Approach


Narender Kumar, Amit Kumar Gupta, Sarabjeet Kour Sudan, Deepika Pal, Vinay Randhawa, Girish Sahni, Shanmugam Mayilra, and Manoj Kumar


In this study, we have analyzed the metagenomic DNA from the pooled sediment sample of the river Ganges to explore the abundance and diversity of phages, microbial community, and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Utilizing data from Illumina platform, 4,174 (∼0.0013%) reads were classified for the 285 different DNA viruses largely dominated by the group of 260 distinctive phages (3,602 reads, ∼86.3%). Among all, Microcystis (782 hits), Haemophilus (403), Synechococcus (386), Pseudomonas (279), Enterococcus (232), Bacillus (196), Rhodococcus (166), Caulobacter (163), Salmonella (146), Enterobacteria (143), Mycobacterium and (128) phages show the highest abundance and account for ∼90% of the total identified phages. In addition, we have also identified corresponding host pertaining to these phages. Mainly, Proteobacteria (∼69.3%) dominates the microbial population structure. Primarily, orders such as Caulobacterales  (∼28%), Burkholderiales (∼13.9%), Actinomycetales (∼13.7%), and Pseudomonadales (∼7.5%) signify the core section. Furthermore, 21,869 (∼0.00695%) reads were classified in 20 ARG types (classes) and 240 ARGs (subtypes), among which 4 ARG types, namely multidrug resistance (12,041 reads, ∼55%), bacitracin (3,202 reads, ∼15%), macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin (1,744 reads, ∼7.98%), and fosmidomycin (990 reads, ∼4.53%), have the highest abundance. Simultaneously, six resistance mechanisms were also recognized with the dominance of antibiotic efflux (72.8%, 15,919 reads). The results unveil the distribution of (pro)-phages; microbial community; and various ARGs in the Ganges river sediments.

Click here to read the article, published in Microbial Drug Resistance.