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Desert, comprising one-third of the Earth's surface, was a synonym for 'no life' as it supports very less or no life due to nutritional stress and extreme weather. Microbial autotrophic biochemistry is the principal source of carbon in arid environment, but understanding of these processes in arid ecosystem is limited. Emerging molecular tools have identified associations of phototrophic and chemolithoautotrophic communities often termed as 'biological soil crust' or 'microbiotic crust'. They are the sole sources of carbon and nitrogen, collectively providing soil stability to support vegetation. Here the curiosity arises, whether this phenomenon could be exploited in deserts for carbon sink using microbial community intelligence. By following the precipitation event under regulated nutrient supply that promotes the soil microbial intelligence for autotrophy would enrich soil carbon and nitrogen which in turn support plant growth in desert. Additionally, bioaugmentation of rhizobacteria could enhance the process. This will enable us to refine and formulate our strategies to exploit CO2-fixing microorganisms in such niches vis-a-vis supporting the carbon sink using microbial community intelligence.


Arid Ecosystem, Biological Soil Crust, Carbon Sequestration, Metagenome, Microbial Intelligence.
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