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Polar Biol. 1988;9:37-44.

Characterization of 15 selected coccal bacteria isolated from Antarctic rock and soil samples from the McMurdo-Dry Valleys (South-Victoria Land).

Author information

1
Institut für Allgemeine Mikrobiologie, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Federal Republic of Germany.
2
FL St U, Tallahassee, Dept Biol Sci

Abstract

Approximately 1500 cultures of microorganisms were isolated from rocks and soils of the Ross Desert (McMurdo-Dry Valleys). From these, 15 coccoid strains were chosen for more detailed investigation. They were characterized by morphological, physiological and chemotaxonomical properties. All isolates were Gram-positive, catalase-positive and nonmotile. Six strains showed red pigmentation and could be identified as members of the genera Micrococcus (M. roseus, M. agilis) or Deinococcus. In spite of their coccoid morphology, the remaining nine strains had to be associated with coryneform bacteria (Arthrobacter, Brevibacterium), because of their cell wall composition and G+C ratios. Most of the strains were psychrotrophic, but one strain was even obligately psychrophilic, with a temperature maximum below 20 degrees C. Red cocci had in vitro pH optima above 9.0 although they generally originated from acid samples. Most isolates showed a preference for sugar alcohols and organic acids, compounds which are commonly known to be released by lichens, molds and algae, the other components of the cryptoendolithic ecosystem. These properties indicate that our strains are autochthonous members of the natural Antarctic microbial population.

PMID:
11538335
DOI:
10.1007/bf00441762
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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