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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-072X
    Keywords: Filamentous ; Phototrophic ; Purple bacteria ; Gliding motility ; Microcoleus chthonoplastes ; Ectothiorhodospira ; Hypersaline ; Cyanobacterial mat ; Microelectrodes ; Salt ponds ; Solar Lake
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract An unidentified filamentous purple bacterium, probably belonging to a new genus or even a new family, is found in close association with the filamentous, mat-forming cyanobacterium Microcoleus chthonoplastes in a hypersaline pond at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico, and in Solar Lake, Sinai, Egypt. This organism is a gliding, segmented trichome, 0.8–0.9 μm wide. It contains intracytoplasmic stacked lamellae which are perpendicular and obliquely oriented to the cell wall, similar to those described for the purple sulfur bacteria Ectothiorhodospira. These bacteria are found inside the cyanobacterial bundle, enclosed by the cyanobacterial sheath. Detailed transmission electron microscopical analyses carried out in horizontal sections of the upper 1.5 mm of the cyanobacterial mat show this cyanobacterial-purple bacterial association at depths of 300–1200 μm, corresponding to the zone below that of maximal oxygenic photosynthesis. Sharp gradients of oxygen and sulfide are established during the day at this microzone in the two cyanobacterial mats studied. The close association, the distribution pattern of this association and preliminary physiological experiments suggest a co-metabolism of sulfur by the two-membered community. This probable new genus of purple bacteria may also grow photoheterotrophically using organic carbon excreted by the cyanobacterium. Since the chemical gradients in the entire photic zone fluctuate widely in a diurnal cycle, both types of metabolism probably take place. During the morning and afternoon, sulfide migrates up to the photic zone allowing photoautotrophic metabolism with sulfide as the electron donor. During the day the photic zone is highly oxygenated and the purple bacteria may either use oxidized species of sulfur such as elemental sulfur and thiosulfate in the photoautotrophic mode or grow photoheterotrophically using organic carbon excreted by M. chthonoplastes. The new type of filamentous purple sulfur bacteria is not available yet in pure culture, and its taxonomical position cannot be fully established. This organism is suggested to be a new type of gliding, filamentous, purple phototroph.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-06-11
    Description: Spirit landed on the floor of Gusev Crater and conducted initial operations on soil covered, rock-strewn cratered plains underlain by olivine-bearing basalts. Plains surface rocks are covered by wind-blown dust and show evidence for surface enrichment of soluble species as vein and void-filling materials and coatings. The surface enrichment is the result of a minor amount of transport and deposition by aqueous processes. Layered granular deposits were discovered in the Columbia Hills, with outcrops that tend to dip conformably with the topography. The granular rocks are interpreted to be volcanic ash and/or impact ejecta deposits that have been modified by aqueous fluids during and/or after emplacement. Soils consist of basaltic deposits that are weakly cohesive, relatively poorly sorted, and covered by a veneer of wind blown dust. The soils have been homogenized by wind transport over at least the several kilometer length scale traversed by the rover. Mobilization of soluble species has occurred within at least two soil deposits examined. The presence of mono-layers of coarse sand on wind-blown bedforms, together with even spacing of granule-sized surface clasts, suggest that some of the soil surfaces encountered by Spirit have not been modified by wind for some time. On the other hand, dust deposits on the surface and rover deck have changed during the course of the mission. Detection of dust devils, monitoring of the dust opacity and lower boundary layer, and coordinated experiments with orbiters provided new insights into atmosphere-surface dynamics.
    Keywords: Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 3
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    In:  Other Sources
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: The stable isotopic composition of the elements O, H, S and C in minerals and other chemical species can indicate the existence, extent, conditions and the processes (including biological activity) of hydrothermal systems. Hydrothermal alteration of the 18O/16O and D/H values of minerals can be used to detect fossil systems and delineate their areal extent. Water-rock interactions create isotopic signatures which indicate fluid composition, temperature, water-rock ratios, etc. The 18O/16O values of silica and carbonate deposits tend to increase with declining temperature and thus help to map thermal gradients. Measurements of D/H values can help to decipher the origin(s) of hydrothermal fluids. The 34S/32S and 13C/12C values of fluids and minerals reflect the origin of the S and C as well as oxygen fugacities and key redox processes. For example, a wide range of 34S/32S values which are consistent with equilibration below 100 degrees C between sulfide and sulfate can be attributed to sulfur metabolizing bacteria. Depending on its magnitude, the difference in the 13C/12C value of CO2 and carbonates versus organic carbon might be attributed either to equilibrium at hydrothermal temperatures or, if the difference exceeds 1% (10/1000), to organic biosynthesis. Along the thermal gradients of thermal spring outflows, the 13C/12C value of carbonates and 13C-depleted microbial organic carbon increases, principally due to the outgassing of relatively 13C-depleted CO2.
    Keywords: Exobiology
    Type: Ciba Foundation symposium (ISSN 0300-5208); Volume 202; 83-94; discussion 94-8
    Format: text
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  • 4
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    In:  Other Sources
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: This chapter cites and summarizes a set of published studies that, as a set, provide a broad overview of the ecology of a single mat ecosystem.
    Keywords: Exobiology
    Type: Advances in microbial ecology (ISSN 0147-4863); Volume 14; 251-74
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: Carbon isotopic trends indicate that the crustal reservoir of reduced, organic carbon increased during the Proterozoic, particularly during periods of widespread continental rifting and orogeny. No long-term trends are apparent in the concentration of organic carbon in shales, cherts and carbonates. The age distribution of 261 sample site localities sampled for well-preserved sedimentary rocks revealed a 500-700-Ma periodicity which coincided with tectonic cycles. It is assumed that the numbers of sites are a proxy for mass of sediments. A substantial increase in the number of sites in the late Archean correlates with the first appearance between 2.9 and 2.5 Ga of extensive continental platforms and their associated sedimentation. It is proposed that the size of the Proterozoic crustal organic carbon reservoir has been modulated by tectonic control of the volume of sediments deposited in environments favorable for the burial and preservation of organic matter. Stepwise increases in this reservoir would have caused the oxidation state of the Proterozoic environment to increase in a stepwise fashion.
    Keywords: Geosciences (General)
    Type: Chemical geology (ISSN 0009-2541); Volume 114; 303-14
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: A fiber-optic microphobe is described which is inexpensive and simple to build and use. It consists of an 80-micrometers optical fiber which at the end is tapered down to a rounded sensing tip of 20-30-micrometers diameter. The detector is a hybrid photodiode/amplifier. The probe has a sensitivity of 0.01 microEinst m-2 s-1 and a spectral range of 300-1,100 nm. Spectral light gradients were measured in fine-grained San Francisco Bay sediment that had an undisturbed diatom coating on the surface. The photic zone of the mud was only 0.4 mm deep. Measured in situ spectra showed extinction maxima at 430-520, 620-630, 670, and 825-850 nm due to absorption by chlorophyll a, carotenoids, phycocyanin, and bacterio-chlorophyll a. Maximum light penetration in the visible range was found in both the violet and the red 〈 or = 400 and 〉 or = 700 nm.
    Keywords: Exobiology
    Type: Limnology and oceanography (ISSN 0024-3590); Volume 31; 6; 1376-83
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: The vertical zonation of light, O2, H2S, pH, and sulfur bacteria was studied in two benthic cyanobacterial mats from hypersaline ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico. The physical-chemical gradients were analyzed in the upper few mm at 〈 or = 100 micrometers spatial resolution by microelectrodes and by a fiber optic microprobe. In mats, where oxygen produced by photosynthesis diffused far below the depth of the photic zone, colorless sulfur bacteria (Beggiatoa sp.) were the dominant sulfide oxidizing organisms. In a mat, where the O2-H2S interface was close to the photic zone, but yet received no significant visible light, purple sulfur bacteria (Chromatium sp.) were the dominant sulfide oxidizers. Analysis of the spectral light distribution here showed that the penetration of only 1% of the incident near-IR light (800-900 nm) into the sulfide zone was sufficient for the mass development of Chromatium in a narrow band of 300 micromoles thickness. The balance between O2 and light penetration down into the sulfide zone thus determined in micro-scale which type of sulfur bacteria became dominant.
    Keywords: Exobiology
    Type: FEMS microbiology ecology (ISSN 0168-6496); Volume 38; 179-86
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: Hydrocarbon abundances and stable-isotopic compositions were measured in wells M5, M26, M35 and M102, which represent a range of depths (1270-2000 m) and temperatures (275-330 degrees C) in the field. In order to simulate the production of the geothermal hydrocarbons, gases were collected from the pyrolysis of lignite in the laboratory. This lignite was obtained from a well which sampled rock strata which are identical to those occurring in the field, but which have experienced much lower subsurface temperatures. In both the well and the laboratory observations, high-temperature environments favored higher relative concentrations of methane, ethane and benzene and generally higher delta 13C-values in the individual hydrocarbons. The best correlation between the laboratory and well data is obtained when laboratory-produced gases from experiments conducted at lower (400 degrees C) and higher (600 degrees C) temperatures are mixed. This improved correlation suggests that the wells are sampling hydrocarbons produced from a spectrum of depths and temperatures in the sediments.
    Keywords: Geosciences (General)
    Type: Chemical geology (ISSN 0009-2541); Volume 71; 159-67
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: Lipophilic pigments were examined in microbial mat communities dominated by cyanobacteria in the intertidal zone and by diatoms in the subtidal and sublittoral zones of Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia. These microbial mats have evolutionary significance because of their similarity to lithfied stromatolites from the Proterozoic and Early Paleozoic eras. Fucoxanthin, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, beta-carotene, and chlorophylls a and c characterized the diatom mats, whereas cyanobacterial mats contained myxoxanthophyll, zeaxanthin, echinenone, beta-carotene, chlorophyll a and, in some cases, sheath pigment. The presence of bacteriochlorophyll a within the mats suggest a close association of photosynthetic bacteria with diatoms and cyanobacteria. The high carotenoids : chlorophyll a ratios (0.84-2.44 wt/wt) in the diatom mats suggest that carotenoids served a photoprotective function in this high light environment. By contrast, cyanobacterial sheath pigment may have largely supplanted the photoprotective role of carotenoids in the intertidal mats.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General)
    Type: Journal of phycology (ISSN 0022-3646); Volume 25; 655-61
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  • 10
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    In:  Other Sources
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: Microbial mats have descended from perhaps the oldest and most widespread biological communities known. Mats harbor microbes that are crucial for studies of bacterial phylogeny and physiology. They illustrate how several oxygen-sensitive biochemical processes have adapted to oxygen, and they show how life adapted to dry land long before the rise of plants. The search for the earliest grazing protists and metazoa in stromatolites is aided by observations of mats: in them, organic compounds characteristic of ancient photosynthetic protists can be identified. Recent mat studies suggest that the 13C/12C increase observed over geological time in stromatolitic organic matter was driven at least in part by a long-term decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
    Keywords: Exobiology
    Type: Trends in ecology & evolution (Personal edition) (ISSN 0169-5347); Volume 5; 5; 140-4
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