December 2012 – B
|From Murray, et al., (2012).|
A diverse bacterial population was discovered living at -13 °C and high salinity conditions in the Lake Vida in the Antarctic. Eight phyla could be identified by rRNA analysis and from some of them, physiological activity could be inferred. This ecosystem has been isolated for more than 2,800 years and its biota is sustained through biogeochemical processes that seem to be driven by energy sources independent of sunlight.
|From Redmond and Valentine, (2012).|
After the Deepwater Horizon spill, bacterial communities in the affected waters have changed their composition. A recent study reports that the singularities of this spill (specially the presence of natural gas) has enhanced the proliferation of Colwellia bacteria in the oil plumes present at ~1,000m depth, where temperature is around 4 to 6 °C. Interestingly, these organisms were associated with ethane, propane and benzene degradation.
Pencillium fungi were found growing in nutrient deprived sediments deep in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Previously, only bacteria and archea were reported to be able to grow under such conditions. This discovery is an opportunity to look for novel metabolites, specially antibiotics.