Takacs-VesbachC, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA, cvesbach@unm.edu
Mitchell, K, R, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA, kmaas@unm.edu
Zeglin, L, , University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA, lzeglin@unm.edu
Barrett, J, E, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA, John.E.Barrett@Dartmouth.edu
Gooseff, M, , Colorado School of Mines, Golden, USA, mgooseff@mines.edu
 
MICROBIAL DIVERSITY AND TEMPERATURE: DIFFERING PROCESSES AT THE HOT AND COLD EXTREMES (Abstract ID: 873)
Molecular diversity surveys of microbial communities from polar and thermal ecosystems-which represent the two extremes of habitable temperatures found on Earth- indicate that these ecosystems are as species rich and dynamic as their temperate counterparts. However, the nature of the diversity detected is markedly different between these two systems. In cold environments, richness stems from interspecific diversity, whereas in thermal environments, there is a high level of intraspecific heterogeneity that is detectable using both 16S rRNA and functional gene analysis. We illustrate these differences with examples from molecular diversity surveys of aquatic and terrestrial systems from the McMurdo dry valleys, Antarctica and thermal springs from Yellowstone National Park. We discuss potential mechanisms that contribute to these differences and propose that they result from differing controls on speciation at the two temperature extremes. Our analysis provides a framework for potentially understanding the forces that would determine the nature of extraterrestrial microbial communities, as polar and thermal systems represent analogues for life on Mars and Europa.
 
Presentation is (Oral, Poster or No Preference): Oral
Presentation is given by student: No
   
 
           
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