Occurrence and distribution of heterotrophic bacteria off Madras coast

S.K. Prabhu, B. Subramanian, A. Mahadevan


Occurrence of heterotrophic bacteria in water and sediment samples collected from the Madras coast was studied. In bacteria, 85% were Gram negative short rods; 9% were coccal forms; 21% were chromogenic and only 7% were sporogenous. In general, Gram negative bacteria were dominant in the sea and most of the strains were highly pleomorphic. The `dominant' genus Vibrio (35%) was followed by the co-dominant genus Alcaligenes (26%). Other genera Bacillus, Flavobacterium-Cytophaga group, Micrococcus, Photobacterium Pseudomonas and members of Enterobacteriaceae were present. Occurrence of enterobacteria was less (1%). Of the bacterial isolates, 89% were limnotolerant whereas only 8% were moderately limnotolerant. Heterotrophic bacterial population exhibited limited fluctuation throughout the year in both water and sediments


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