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Life 2013, 3(1), 211-233; doi:10.3390/life3010211
Article

A Laboratory of Extremophiles: Iceland Coordination Action for Research Activities on Life in Extreme Environments (CAREX) Field Campaign

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1 Matis ohf. Food Safety, Environment and Genetics, Vinlandsleid 12, Reykjavik, 113, Iceland 2 Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California, Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA 3 Institute of Botany AS CR, Dukelská 135, Třeboň, CZ-379 82, Czech Republic 4 Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, České Budějovice,CZ-370 05, Czech Republic 5 Department of Food, Environment and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS), University of Milan, via Celoria 2, Milan, 20133, Italy 6 Consiglio NazionaledelleRicercheIstituto di BiologiaAgroambientale e Forestale via Marconi 2-05010 Porano (TR), Italy 7 Centro de Astrobiología. INTA-CSIC. Torrenjón de Ardoz, Madrid, 28850, Spain 8 Department of Plant Biology Technical University of Braunschweig, Pockelsstr. 14, Brunschweig, 38092, Germany 9 Geology Department, University of Oviedo, Jesús Arias de Velasc, Oviedo, 33005, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 23 January 2013 / Accepted: 5 February 2013 / Published: 25 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extremophiles and Extreme Environments)
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Abstract

Existence of life in extreme environments has been known for a long time, and their habitants have been investigated by different scientific disciplines for decades. However, reports of multidisciplinary research are uncommon. In this paper, we report an interdisciplinary three-day field campaign conducted in the framework of the Coordination Action for Research Activities on Life in Extreme Environments (CAREX) FP7EU program, with participation of experts in the fields of life and earth sciences. In situ experiments and sampling were performed in a 20 m long hot springs system of different temperature (57 °C to 100 °C) and pH (2 to 4). Abiotic factors were measured to study their influence on the diversity. The CO2 and H2S concentration varied at different sampling locations in the system, but the SO2 remained the same. Four biofilms, mainly composed by four different algae and phototrophic protists, showed differences in photosynthetic activity. Varying temperature of the sampling location affects chlorophyll fluorescence, not only in the microbial mats, but plants (Juncus), indicating selective adaptation to the environmental conditions. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA microarray and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)-based analysis in laboratory showed the presence of a diverse microbial population. Even a short duration (30 h) deployment of a micro colonizer in this hot spring system led to colonization of microorganisms based on ribosomal intergenic spacer (RISA) analysis. Polyphasic analysis of this hot spring system was possible due to the involvement of multidisciplinary approaches.
Keywords: hot spring; field campaign; interdisciplinary; extreme environment hot spring; field campaign; interdisciplinary; extreme environment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Marteinsson, V.; Vaishampayan, P.; Kviderova, J.; Mapelli, F.; Medori, M.; Calfapietra, C.; Aguilera, A.; Hamisch, D.; Reynisson, E.; Magnússon, S.; Marasco, R.; Borin, S.; Calzada, A.; Souza-Egipsy, V.; González-Toril, E.; Amils, R.; Elster, J.; Hänsch, R. A Laboratory of Extremophiles: Iceland Coordination Action for Research Activities on Life in Extreme Environments (CAREX) Field Campaign. Life 2013, 3, 211-233.

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