On Earth, Some creatures like it warm, some find it cold, and others feel at home amidst the acid of only an underwater volcano.
That latter group – an ancient and eclectic bunch known as extrophiles – thrive in situations that will kill your average Earthling. Group members are microscopic in scale, and are radiation-resistant. TardigradesProkaryotes who love under pressure Mariana Trench And acid-dissolving bacteria that make up the yellowstone Grand prismatic spring So colorful.
Now, researchers searching for a deep-sea volcano near New Zealand have added about 300 new super-living bacteria to that bizarre club.
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In a study published on December 22, 2020 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Marine biologists used a remotely operated robot to remove sediment from a 6,000-foot-deep (1,800 m) collection called Brother’s Volcano, located about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north-east of New Zealand. In subsequent DNA analysis of volcanic sedimentation, the team identified 285 different types of novel pathogens, previously unknown to science. The new extrophile hall includes 202 possible new species Bacteria And 83 species of Archaea (ancient single-celled germs that live in extreme environments).
Similar to the diverse cast of microbes living in the Grand Prismatic Spring, different types of microbes seemed to be bound in different parts. Volcano, Based on the temperature and acidity of the surrounding water, the team found. Some species favored the volcano’s caldera walls, surrounded by a 65-foot-tall (20 m) chimney, which continuously exhales 600 ° F (320 ° C) fluid from metals. Other species like to swim Sulfur Gases emanating from two large mounds near the center of the caldera. (The water temperature near those mounds was a frightening 250 F, or 120 C)
Researchers wrote that in addition to adding several new species to the tree of microbial life, researchers have given another tool to study Earth’s most extreme locations. Because some germs that share certain genetic traits seemed to thrive under specific conditions in the Brothers volcano, it follows that researchers can speculate a lot about the conditions of microbes that study only the microbes that live there Huh.
“We’re getting to a point where they can be very informative about the environment of microbes,” said co-author Miskor Podder, a systems geneticist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Said in a statement. “With more data, we can use microbes as a proxy to characterize environments where traditional measurements are challenging to capture.”
Originally published on Live Science.