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Proceedings Paper

Genomics of the thermo-acidophilic red alga Galdieria sulphuraria
Author(s): Guillaume G. Barbier; Marc Zimmermann; Andreas P. M. Weber
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Paper Abstract

Extremophilic organisms dwell in environments that are characterized by high or low temperatures (thermophiles or psychrophiles), very low or high pH-values (acidophiles or alkalophiles), high salt concentrations (halophiles), high pressure (barophiles), or extreme drought (xerophiles). Many extremophiles are microbes, and many also belong to the prokaryota. Galdieria sulphuraria, however, is a member of a group of extremophilic eukaryotes that are named Cyanidiales. Cyanidiales are unicellular red micro-algae that occur worldwide in hot acidic waters, volcanic calderas, and in human-made acidic environments such as acidic mine drainage. G. sulphuraria has a unique position within the Cyanidiales because, in contrast to the other obligate photoautotrophic members of this group, it is able to grow photoautotrophically, mixotrophically, and heterotrophically. It is not only resistant to acid (pH 0) and heat (56oC), but also to high salt (1.5 M NaCl), toxic metals, and many other abiotic stressors. This unusual combination of features such as thermophily, acidophily, resistance to a wide array of abiotic stressors, and an extraordinary metabolic plasticity make G. sulphuraria highly interesting model organism to study adaptation to extreme environments. We have started a genomics approach to gain insight into the biology of G. sulphuraria and to identify genes and gene products critical for survival under extreme conditions. To this end, we pursue a whole-genome, shotgun sequencing approach towards unraveling the genome sequence of G. sulphuraria. We report here on the status quo of the genome-sequencing project and we summarize what we have learned to date from the genome sequence about the biology of this truly unique extremophile.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5906, Astrobiology and Planetary Missions, 590609 (22 September 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.614532
Show Author Affiliations
Guillaume G. Barbier, Michigan State Univ. (United States)
Marc Zimmermann, Michigan State Univ. (United States)
Andreas P. M. Weber, Michigan State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5906:
Astrobiology and Planetary Missions
Richard B. Hoover; G. Randall Gladstone; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov, Editor(s)

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