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Nearly half the earth's surface is occupied by dryland ecosystems, regions susceptible to reduced states of biological productivity caused by climate fluctuations. Of these regions, arid zones located at the interface between vegetated semiarid regions and biologically unproductive hyperarid zones are considered most vulnerable. The objective of this study was to conduct a deep diversity analysis of bacterial communities in unvegetated arid soils of the Atacama Desert, to characterize community structure and infer the functional potential of these communities based on observed phylogenetic associations. A 454-pyrotag analysis was conducted of three unvegetated arid sites located at the hyperarid-arid margin. The...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Extremophiles
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Permanently low temperature environments are one of the most abundant microbial habitats on earth. As in most ecosystems, photosynthetic organisms drive primary production in low temperature food webs. Many of these phototrophic microorganisms are psychrophilic; however, functioning of the photosynthetic processes of these enigmatic psychrophiles (the 'photopsychrophiles') in cold environments is not well understood. Here we describe a new chlorophyte isolated from a low temperature pond, on the Ross Ice Shelf near Bratina Island, Antarctica. Phylogenetic and morphological analyses place this strain in the Chlorella clade, and we have named this new chlorophyte Chlorella BI. Chlorella BI is a psychrophilic species,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Extremophiles
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Mono Lake sediment slurries incubated with lactate and tellurite [Te(IV)] turned progressively black with time because of the precipitation of elemental tellurium [Te(0)]. An enrichment culture was established from these slurries that demonstrated Te(IV)-dependent growth. The enrichment was purified by picking isolated black colonies from lactate/Te(IV) agar plates, followed by repeated streaking and picking. The isolate, strain MLTeJB, grew in aqueous Te(IV)-medium if provided with a small amount of sterile solid phase material (e.g., agar plug; glass beads). Strain MLTeJB grew at high concentrations of Te(IV) (~8 mM) by oxidizing lactate to acetate plus formate, while reducing Te(IV) to Te(0). Other electron acceptors...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Extremophiles
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A haloalkaliphilic sulfate-respiring bacterium, strain SLSR-1, was isolated from a lactate-fed stable enrichment culture originally obtained from the extreme environment of Searles Lake, California. The isolate proved capable of growth via sulfate-reduction over a broad range of salinities (125–330 g/L), although growth was slowest at salt-saturation. Strain SLSR-1 was also capable of growth via dissimilatory arsenate-reduction and displayed an even broader range of salinity tolerance (50–330 g/L) when grown under these conditions. Strain SLSR-1 could also grow via dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonia. Growth experiments in the presence of high borate concentrations indicated a greater sensitivity of sulfate-reduction...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Extremophiles
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Anaerobic bacteria and anoxic sediments from soda lakes produced electricity in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). No electricity was generated in the absence of bacterial metabolism. Arsenate respiring bacteria isolated from moderately hypersaline Mono Lake (Bacillus selenitireducens), and salt-saturated Searles Lake, CA (strain SLAS-1) oxidized lactate using arsenate as the electron acceptor. However, these cultures grew equally well without added arsenate using the MFC anode as their electron acceptor, and in the process oxidized lactate more efficiently. The decrease in electricity generation by consumption of added alternative electron acceptors (i.e. arsenate) which competed with the anode for available electrons...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Extremophiles
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Bacteriophages are found wherever microbial life is present and play a significant role in aquatic ecosystems. They mediate microbial abundance, production, respiration, diversity, genetic transfer, nutrient cycling and particle size distribution. Most studies of bacteriophage ecology have been undertaken at temperate latitudes. Data on bacteriophages in polar inland waters are scant but the indications are that they play an active and dynamic role in these microbially dominated polar ecosystems. This review summarises what is presently known about polar inland bacteriophages, ranging from subglacial Antarctic lakes to glacial ecosystems in the Arctic. The review examines interactions between bacteriophages and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Extremophiles