dimanche 9 janvier 2011

8th January, microscopy of the cryptoendolithic sample

Today, I was on duty with Karel at the kitchen. Afterwards, I observed the cryptoendolithic sample of yesterday, that René had spotted. 
Till now, in the cryptoendolithic samples of Annick and myself, we only had found unicellular green algae. However, this time, it was Chroococcidiopsis!
Chroococcidiopsis is a well-known inhabitant of crypotendolithic communities in hot and cold deserts. For example, Imre Friedmann, a famous Antarctic microbiologist, had been the first to discover its presence in the rocks of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Therefore, we were quite puzzled that we could not find it in the Utsteinen area.

Could it be that Chroococcidiopsis prefers more harsh conditions than the green algae? I have subcultured the sample in a simplified culture medium (BG11 medium with 1 g/L of KNO3 and "extract" of autoclaved gravel from the Utsteinen ridge).

Today or tomorrow,  maybe that  I will start the fluorometry experiments on the ridge.
Now, it is quite cloudy but the forecast for the future is good.
Cheers, Zorigto

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