Antarctica is Earth’s southernmost continent, which is beautifully covered by snow and ice. It is coldest continent with extreme environmental conditions. Antarctica was once thought to be frozen and lifeless, and is now known for its biodiversity where microbial life is thriving. Its important to understand the microbial diversity on this continent as microorganisms play an important role in the functioning of Antarctic ecosystems. A type strain was isolated from glacier sediment sample collected from the Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, during the 38th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica in 2019. Research group of Dr. Avinash Sharma at NCMR-NCCS Pune studied the characteristics of the isolated strain.
Distinguishing characteristics based on the polyphasic analysis indicated the strain as a novel species of genus Marisediminicola for which the name Marisediminicola senii sp. nov., is proposed. The strain is named as Marisediminicola senii in the honor of late Mr. Subhajit Sen, a researcher from India who lost his life in an accident during the 37th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica in 2017. Mr. Sen’s research in Antarctica was focused on fabric analysis of glacial deposits.
Marisediminicola senii sp. nov., with accession number MCC 4327 (Type strain) is now stored at NCMR along with other approximately two lakh microbes. The National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR) has an authorization to preserve and catalogue the diversity of microorganisms collected from various ecological niches in India and to make them available for research use.