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Proceedings Paper

Diversity and cold adaptation of microorganisms isolated from the Schirmacher Oasis, Antarctica
Author(s): Nazia Mojib; Asim K. Bej; Richard Hoover
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Paper Abstract

We have investigated the feasibility of the PCR amplification of the 16S rRNA genes from eubacteria and Archea on samples collected on Whatman FTA filters from Schirmacher Oasis for the study of culture-independent analysis of the microbial diversity. Both conventional PCR and real-time TaqmaTM PCR successfully amplified the targeted genes. A number of diverse groups of psychrotolerant microorganisms with various pigments have been isolated when cultured on agar medium. 16S rRNA gene analysis of these isolates helped us to identify closest taxonomic genus Pseudomonas, Frigoribacterium, Arthrobacter, Flavobacterium, and Janthinobacterium. It is possible that the pigments play protective role from solar UV radiation, which is prevalent in Antarctic continent especially during Austral summer months. Study of the expression of cold adaptive protein CapB and ice-binding protein IBP using western blots showed positive detection of both or either of these proteins in 6 out of 8 isolates. Since the CapB and IBP protein structure greatly varies in microorganisms, it is possible that the 2 isolates with negative results could have a different class of these proteins. The expression of the CapB and the IBP in these isolates suggest that these proteins are essential for the survival in the Antarctic cold and subzero temperatures and protect themselves from freeze-damage. The current study provided sufficient data to further investigate the rich and diverse biota of psychrotolerant extremophiles in the Antarctic Schirmacher Oasis using both culture-independent and culture-based approaches; and understand the mechanisms of cold tolerance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 September 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7097, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI, 70970K (2 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.795394
Show Author Affiliations
Nazia Mojib, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham (United States)
Asim K. Bej, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham (United States)
Richard Hoover, National Space Science and Technology Ctr., NASA (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7097:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert Victor Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C.W. Davies, Editor(s)

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