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Article: Highly specialized microbial diversity in hyper-arid polar desert

TitleHighly specialized microbial diversity in hyper-arid polar desert
Authors
KeywordsAntarctica
Biodiversity
Endolith
Extremophile
Hypolith
Issue Date2009
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.pnas.org
Citation
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 2009, v. 106 n. 47, p. 19964-19969 How to Cite?
AbstractThe McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are a cold hyperarid polar desert that present extreme challenges to life. Here, we report a culture-independent survey of multidomain microbial biodiversity in McKelvey Valley, a pristine example of the coldest desert on Earth. We demonstrate that life has adapted to form highly-specialized communities in distinct lithic niches occurring concomitantly within this terrain. Endoliths and chasmoliths in sandstone displayed greatest diversity, whereas soil was relatively depauperate and lacked a significant photoautotrophic component, apart from isolated islands of hypolithic cyanobacterial colonization on quartz rocks in soil contact. Communities supported previously unreported polar bacteria and fungi, but archaea were absent from all niches. Lithic community structure did not vary significantly on a landscape scale and stochastic moisture input due to snowmelt resulted in increases in colonization frequency without significantly affecting diversity. The findings show that biodiversity near the cold-arid limit for life is more complex than previously appreciated, but communities lack variability probably due to the high selective pressures of this extreme environment.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/124643
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 9.423
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 6.883
PubMed Central ID
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of Waikato Vice Chancellor's Fund
Hong Kong Research Grants Council7733/08M
United States National Science Foundation0537143
Funding Information:

We thank Brett Arenz (University of Minnesota) for field assistance, and Robert Blanchette (University of Minnesota) and Donald Cowan (University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa) for useful discussions and advice on defining the research topic. Logistical and field support was provided by Antarctica New Zealand. This work was funded in part by the University of Waikato Vice Chancellor's Fund, the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Grant No. 7733/08M, and the United States National Science Foundation Grant No. 0537143.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorPointing, SBen_HK
dc.contributor.authorChan, Yen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLacap, DCen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLau, MCYen_HK
dc.contributor.authorJurgens, JAen_HK
dc.contributor.authorFarrell, RLen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-10-31T10:46:02Z-
dc.date.available2010-10-31T10:46:02Z-
dc.date.issued2009en_HK
dc.identifier.citationProceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 2009, v. 106 n. 47, p. 19964-19969en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0027-8424en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/124643-
dc.description.abstractThe McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are a cold hyperarid polar desert that present extreme challenges to life. Here, we report a culture-independent survey of multidomain microbial biodiversity in McKelvey Valley, a pristine example of the coldest desert on Earth. We demonstrate that life has adapted to form highly-specialized communities in distinct lithic niches occurring concomitantly within this terrain. Endoliths and chasmoliths in sandstone displayed greatest diversity, whereas soil was relatively depauperate and lacked a significant photoautotrophic component, apart from isolated islands of hypolithic cyanobacterial colonization on quartz rocks in soil contact. Communities supported previously unreported polar bacteria and fungi, but archaea were absent from all niches. Lithic community structure did not vary significantly on a landscape scale and stochastic moisture input due to snowmelt resulted in increases in colonization frequency without significantly affecting diversity. The findings show that biodiversity near the cold-arid limit for life is more complex than previously appreciated, but communities lack variability probably due to the high selective pressures of this extreme environment.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherNational Academy of Sciences. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.pnas.orgen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of Americaen_HK
dc.rightsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences.-
dc.subjectAntarcticaen_HK
dc.subjectBiodiversityen_HK
dc.subjectEndolithen_HK
dc.subjectExtremophileen_HK
dc.subjectHypolithen_HK
dc.subject.meshBacteria - classification - genetics - isolation and purification-
dc.subject.meshCyanobacteria - classification - genetics - isolation and purification-
dc.subject.meshDesert Climate-
dc.subject.meshFungi - classification - genetics - isolation and purification-
dc.subject.meshSoil Microbiology-
dc.titleHighly specialized microbial diversity in hyper-arid polar deserten_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0027-8424&volume=106&issue=47&spage=19964–19969&epage=&date=2009&atitle=Highly+specialized+microbial+diversity+in+hyper-arid+polar+deserten_HK
dc.identifier.emailPointing, SB: pointing@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailLau, MCY: maglau@princeton.eduen_HK
dc.identifier.authorityPointing, SB=rp00771en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityLau, MCY=rp00721en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_OA_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1073/pnas.0908274106en_HK
dc.identifier.pmid19850879-
dc.identifier.pmcidPMC2765924-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-73949130743en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros174773en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros234285-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-73949130743&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume106en_HK
dc.identifier.issue47en_HK
dc.identifier.spage19964en_HK
dc.identifier.epage19969en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000272180900042-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridPointing, SB=6603986412en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChan, Y=35725244600en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLacap, DC=9640383000en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLau, MCY=35177794300en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridJurgens, JA=7004726914en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridFarrell, RL=35617552700en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike6238427-

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