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Ancient photosynthetic eukaryote biofilms in an Atacama Desert coastal cave

Microbial Ecology

By:
, , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1007/s00248-009-9500-5

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Abstract

Caves offer a stable and protected environment from harsh and changing outside prevailing conditions. Hence, they represent an interesting habitat for studying life in extreme environments. Here, we report the presence of a member of the ancient eukaryote red algae Cyanidium group in a coastal cave of the hyperarid Atacama Desert. This microorganism was found to form a seemingly monospecific biofilm growing under extremely low photon flux levels. Our work suggests that this species, Cyanidium sp. Atacama, is a new member of a recently proposed novel monophyletic lineage of mesophilic "cave" Cyanidium sp., distinct from the remaining three other lineages which are all thermo-acidophilic. The cave described in this work may represent an evolutionary island for life in the midst of the Atacama Desert. ?? Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Ancient photosynthetic eukaryote biofilms in an Atacama Desert coastal cave
Series title:
Microbial Ecology
DOI:
10.1007/s00248-009-9500-5
Volume
58
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Microbial Ecology
First page:
485
Last page:
496
Number of Pages:
12