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.
|Title||Ancient photosynthetic eukaryote biofilms in an Atacama Desert coastal cave|
|Authors||A. Azua-Bustos, C. Gonzalez-Silva, R.A. Mancilla, L. Salas, R.E. Palma, J.J. Wynne, C.P. McKay, R. Vicuna|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Microbial Ecology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|