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1.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 80(12): 3687-98, 2014 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24727273

RESUMEN

The anoxic and freezing brine that permeates Lake Vida's perennial ice below 16 m contains an abundance of very small (≤0.2-µm) particles mixed with a less abundant population of microbial cells ranging from >0.2 to 1.5 µm in length. Fluorescent DNA staining, electron microscopy (EM) observations, elemental analysis, and extraction of high-molecular-weight genomic DNA indicated that a significant portion of these ultrasmall particles are cells. A continuous electron-dense layer surrounding a less electron-dense region was observed by EM, indicating the presence of a biological membrane surrounding a cytoplasm. The ultrasmall cells are 0.192 ± 0.065 µm, with morphology characteristic of coccoid and diplococcic bacterial cells, often surrounded by iron-rich capsular structures. EM observations also detected the presence of smaller unidentified nanoparticles of 0.020 to 0.140 µm among the brine cells. A 16S rRNA gene clone library from the brine 0.1- to 0.2-µm-size fraction revealed a relatively low-diversity assemblage of Bacteria sequences distinct from the previously reported >0.2-µm-cell-size Lake Vida brine assemblage. The brine 0.1- to 0.2-µm-size fraction was dominated by the Proteobacteria-affiliated genera Herbaspirillum, Pseudoalteromonas, and Marinobacter. Cultivation efforts of the 0.1- to 0.2-µm-size fraction led to the isolation of Actinobacteria-affiliated genera Microbacterium and Kocuria. Based on phylogenetic relatedness and microscopic observations, we hypothesize that the ultrasmall cells in Lake Vida brine are ultramicrocells that are likely in a reduced size state as a result of environmental stress or life cycle-related conditions.


Asunto(s)
Bacterias/clasificación , Bacterias/aislamiento & purificación , Cubierta de Hielo/microbiología , Lagos/microbiología , Sales (Química)/metabolismo , Regiones Antárticas , Bacterias/genética , Bacterias/metabolismo , ADN Bacteriano/genética , Datos de Secuencia Molecular , Filogenia , ARN Ribosómico 16S/genética , Sales (Química)/química
2.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25763368

RESUMEN

Recently, technologies have been developed that offer the possibility of using algal biomass as feedstocks to energy producing systems - in addition to oil-derived fuels (Bird et al., 2011, 2012). Growing native mixed microalgal consortia for biomass in association with geothermal resources has the potential to mitigate negative impacts of seasonally low temperatures on biomass production systems as well as mitigate some of the challenges associated with growing unialgal strains. We assessed community composition, growth rates, biomass, and neutral lipid production of microalgal consortia obtained from geothermal hot springs in the Great Basin/Nevada area that were cultured under different thermal and light conditions. Biomass production rates ranged from 39.0 to 344.1 mg C L(-1) day(-1). The neutral lipid production in these consortia with and without shifts to lower temperatures and additions of bicarbonate (both environmental parameters that have been shown to enhance neutral lipid production) ranged from 0 to 38.74 mg free fatty acids (FFA) and triacylglycerols (TAG) L(-1 )day(-1); the upper value was approximately 6% of the biomass produced. The higher lipid values were most likely due to the presence of Achnanthidium sp. Palmitic and stearic acids were the dominant free fatty acids. The S/U ratio (the saturated to unsaturated FA ratio) decreased for cultures shifted from their original temperature to 15°C. Biomass production was within the upper limits of those reported for individual strains, and production of neutral lipids was increased with secondary treatment. All results demonstrate a potential of culturing and manipulating resultant microalgal consortia for biomass-based energy production and perhaps even for biofuels.

3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 109(50): 20626-31, 2012 Dec 11.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23185006

RESUMEN

The permanent ice cover of Lake Vida (Antarctica) encapsulates an extreme cryogenic brine ecosystem (-13 °C; salinity, 200). This aphotic ecosystem is anoxic and consists of a slightly acidic (pH 6.2) sodium chloride-dominated brine. Expeditions in 2005 and 2010 were conducted to investigate the biogeochemistry of Lake Vida's brine system. A phylogenetically diverse and metabolically active Bacteria dominated microbial assemblage was observed in the brine. These bacteria live under very high levels of reduced metals, ammonia, molecular hydrogen (H(2)), and dissolved organic carbon, as well as high concentrations of oxidized species of nitrogen (i.e., supersaturated nitrous oxide and ∼1 mmol⋅L(-1) nitrate) and sulfur (as sulfate). The existence of this system, with active biota, and a suite of reduced as well as oxidized compounds, is unusual given the millennial scale of its isolation from external sources of energy. The geochemistry of the brine suggests that abiotic brine-rock reactions may occur in this system and that the rich sources of dissolved electron acceptors prevent sulfate reduction and methanogenesis from being energetically favorable. The discovery of this ecosystem and the in situ biotic and abiotic processes occurring at low temperature provides a tractable system to study habitability of isolated terrestrial cryoenvironments (e.g., permafrost cryopegs and subglacial ecosystems), and is a potential analog for habitats on other icy worlds where water-rock reactions may cooccur with saline deposits and subsurface oceans.


Asunto(s)
Lagos/microbiología , Microbiología del Agua , Regiones Antárticas , Bacterias/clasificación , Bacterias/genética , Bacterias/aislamiento & purificación , Clima Frío , Ecosistema , Evolución Molecular , Hielo , Lagos/análisis , Microscopía Electrónica de Rastreo , Datos de Secuencia Molecular , Filogenia , ARN Bacteriano/genética , ARN Ribosómico/genética
4.
J Phycol ; 45(1): 130-6, 2009 Feb.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27033652

RESUMEN

Many cold-adapted unicellular plants express ice-active proteins, but at present, only one type of such proteins has been described, and it shows no resemblance to higher plant antifreezes. Here, we describe four isoforms of a second and very active type of extracellular ice-binding protein (IBP) from a unicellular chlamydomonad alga collected from an Antarctic intertidal location. The alga is a euryhaline psychrophile that, based on sequences of the alpha tubulin gene and an IBP gene, appears to be the same as a snow alga collected on Petrel Island, Antarctica. The IBPs, which do not resemble any known antifreezes, have strong recrystallization inhibition activity and have an ability to slow the drainage of brine from sea ice. These properties, by maintaining liquid environments, may increase survival of the cells in freezing environments. The IBPs have a repeating TXT motif, which has previously been implicated in ice binding in insect antifreezes and a ryegrass antifreeze.

5.
FEMS Microbiol Ecol ; 59(2): 274-88, 2007 Feb.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17092309

RESUMEN

Lake Vida, located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, is an 'ice-sealed' lake with approximately 19 m of ice covering a highly saline water column (approximately 245 ppt). The lower portions of the ice cover and the lake beneath have been isolated from the atmosphere and land for circa 2800 years. Analysis of microbial assemblages within the perennial ice cover of the lake revealed a diverse array of bacteria and eukarya. Bacterial and eukaryal denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis phylotype profile similarities were low (<59%) between all of the depths compared (five depths spanning 11 m of the ice cover), with the greatest differences occurring between surface and deep ice. The majority of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences in the surface ice were related to Actinobacteria (42%) while Gammaproteobacteria (52%) dominated the deep ice community. Comparisons of assemblage composition suggest differences in ice habitability and organismal origin in the upper and lower portions of ice cover. Specifically, the upper ice cover microbiota likely reflect the modern day transport and colonization of biota from the terrestrial landscape, whereas assemblages in the deeper ice are more likely to be persistent remnant biota that originated from the ancient liquid water column of the lake that froze.


Asunto(s)
Actinobacteria , Chlorophyta , Agua Dulce/microbiología , Gammaproteobacteria , Cubierta de Hielo/microbiología , Actinobacteria/clasificación , Actinobacteria/genética , Actinobacteria/aislamiento & purificación , Regiones Antárticas , Chlorophyta/clasificación , Chlorophyta/genética , Chlorophyta/aislamiento & purificación , Gammaproteobacteria/clasificación , Gammaproteobacteria/genética , Gammaproteobacteria/aislamiento & purificación , Genes de ARNr , Datos de Secuencia Molecular , Filogenia , ARN Ribosómico 16S , Análisis de Secuencia de ADN
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 100(1): 26-31, 2003 Jan 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-12518052

RESUMEN

Lake Vida, one of the largest lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, was previously believed to be shallow (<10 m) and frozen to its bed year-round. New ice-core analysis and temperature data show that beneath 19 m of ice is a water column composed of a NaCl brine with a salinity seven times that of seawater that remains liquid below -10 degrees C. The ice cover thickens at both its base and surface, sealing concentrated brine beneath. The ice cover is stabilized by a negative feedback between ice growth and the freezing-point depression of the brine. The ice cover contains frozen microbial mats throughout that are viable after thawing and has a history that extends to at least 2,800 (14)C years B.P., suggesting that the brine has been isolated from the atmosphere for as long. To our knowledge, Lake Vida has the thickest subaerial lake ice cover recorded and may represent a previously undiscovered end-member lacustrine ecosystem on Earth.


Asunto(s)
Hielo , Cloruro de Sodio , Regiones Antárticas , Agua de Mar , Temperatura , Termodinámica
7.
Astrobiology ; 3(4): 785-811, 2003.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-14987483

RESUMEN

The putative ocean of Europa has focused considerable attention on the potential habitats for life on Europa. By generally clement Earth standards, these Europan habitats are likely to be extreme environments. The objectives of this paper were to examine: (1) the limits for biological activity on Earth with respect to temperature, salinity, acidity, desiccation, radiation, pressure, and time; (2) potential habitats for life on Europa; and (3) Earth analogues and their limitations for Europa. Based on empirical evidence, the limits for biological activity on Earth are: (1) the temperature range is from 253 to 394 K; (2) the salinity range is a(H2O) = 0.6-1.0; (3) the desiccation range is from 60% to 100% relative humidity; (4) the acidity range is from pH 0 to 13; (5) microbes such as Deinococcus are roughly 4,000 times more resistant to ionizing radiation than humans; (6) the range for hydrostatic pressure is from 0 to 1,100 bars; and (7) the maximum time for organisms to survive in the dormant state may be as long as 250 million years. The potential habitats for life on Europa are the ice layer, the brine ocean, and the seafloor environment. The dual stresses of lethal radiation and low temperatures on or near the icy surface of Europa preclude the possibility of biological activity anywhere near the surface. Only at the base of the ice layer could one expect to find the suitable temperatures and liquid water that are necessary for life. An ice layer turnover time of 10 million years is probably rapid enough for preserving in the surface ice layers dormant life forms originating from the ocean. Model simulations demonstrate that hypothetical oceans could exist on Europa that are too cold for biological activity (T < 253 K). These simulations also demonstrate that salinities are high, which would restrict life to extreme halophiles. An acidic ocean (if present) could also potentially limit life. Pressure, per se, is unlikely to directly limit life on Europa. But indirectly, pressure plays an important role in controlling the chemical environments for life. Deep ocean basins such as the Mariana Trench are good analogues for the cold, high-pressure ocean of Europa. Many of the best terrestrial analogues for potential Europan habitats are in the Arctic and Antarctica. The six factors likely to be most important in defining the environments for life on Europa and the focus for future work are liquid water, energy, nutrients, low temperatures, salinity, and high pressures.


Asunto(s)
Planeta Tierra , Exobiología , Júpiter , Frío , Deinococcus/metabolismo , Calor , Concentración de Iones de Hidrógeno , Hielo , Vida , Modelos Químicos , Océanos y Mares , Origen de la Vida , Presión , Radiación Ionizante , Cloruro de Sodio/farmacología , Temperatura , Factores de Tiempo , Rayos Ultravioleta , Agua
8.
Nature ; 415(6871): 517-20, 2002 Jan 31.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-11793010

RESUMEN

The average air temperature at the Earth's surface has increased by 0.06 degrees C per decade during the 20th century, and by 0.19 degrees C per decade from 1979 to 1998. Climate models generally predict amplified warming in polar regions, as observed in Antarctica's peninsula region over the second half of the 20th century. Although previous reports suggest slight recent continental warming, our spatial analysis of Antarctic meteorological data demonstrates a net cooling on the Antarctic continent between 1966 and 2000, particularly during summer and autumn. The McMurdo Dry Valleys have cooled by 0.7 degrees C per decade between 1986 and 2000, with similar pronounced seasonal trends. Summer cooling is particularly important to Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems that are poised at the interface of ice and water. Here we present data from the dry valleys representing evidence of rapid terrestrial ecosystem response to climate cooling in Antarctica, including decreased primary productivity of lakes (6-9% per year) and declining numbers of soil invertebrates (more than 10% per year). Continental Antarctic cooling, especially the seasonality of cooling, poses challenges to models of climate and ecosystem change.


Asunto(s)
Clima , Frío , Ecosistema , Animales , Regiones Antárticas , Invertebrados , Nematodos , Estaciones del Año , Suelo , Microbiología del Suelo
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