The present study deals with preliminary investigation of cyanobacterial diversity in Meghalaya. A total of 75 samples were collected from 10 different ecosystems and analyzed. 65 strains of cyanobacteria isolated under 11 genera include Nostoc, Anabaena, Calothrix, Cylindrospermum, Gleocapsa, Fischerella, Plectonema, Tolypothrix, Stigonema, Loriella and Westiellopsis. Nostoc was most abundant. Diversity analysis indicated maximum Shannon’s diversity index (H) in Mawlai. Highest Simpson’s diversity index was seen in Sung Valley (0.75). Both Shannon’s and Simpson’s diversity indices were lowest in Mairang. Richness was highest in Sung valley and Syntuksiar with both the sites supporting 17 strains each. Although, highest diversity was recorded from Mawlai, richness recorded at this site was only 11 strains thereby indicating richness need not be a function of diversity in this region. This study revealed the cyanobacterial strains, which can withstand acidic pH and prevail in the region. A study on colonization also identified some potential biofertilizer strains from the region such as Nostoc punctiforme, Nostoc muscurum and Anabaena azollae that could be effective in acidic crop fields.
Northeast India, Biodiversity hot spots, Cyanobacterial diversity, Shannon’s index, Simpson’s diversity index
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