Cold-active halophilic bacteria from the ice-sealed Lake Vida, Antarctica
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Lake Vida is a large, permanently ice-covered lake in the Victoria Valley of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica and is unique among Dry Valley lakes because it is ice-sealed, with an ice-cover of nearly 19 m. Enrichment cultures of melt-water from Lake Vida 15.9 m ice yielded five pure cultures of aerobic, heterotrophic bacteria. Of these, one strain grew at −8°C and the four others at −4°C. All isolates were either halotolerant or halophilic, with two strains capable of growth at 15% NaCl. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the Lake Vida isolates to be Gammaproteobacteria, related to species of Psychrobacter and Marinobacter. This is the first report of pure cultures of bacteria from Lake Vida, and the isolates displayed a phenotype consistent with life in a cold hypersaline environment.
KeywordsAntarctica Lake Vida Psychrophiles Psychrobacter Marinobacter
This research was supported by NSF grants MCB0237576 and OPP0739435. Samples of Lake Vida ice were obtained through support from NASA grant NAG5-12889 to Peter T. Doran. The authors thank Chris Fritsen and Peter Doran for supplying the Lake Vida ice samples. We also thank Deborah O. Jung for preparing Fig. 2.
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