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Life 2013, 3(2), 346-362; doi:10.3390/life3020346
Article

Heterotrophic Protists in Hypersaline Microbial Mats and Deep Hypersaline Basin Water Columns

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Received: 4 March 2013 / Revised: 2 April 2013 / Accepted: 2 April 2013 / Published: 22 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extremophiles and Extreme Environments)
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Abstract

Although hypersaline environments pose challenges to life because of the low water content (water activity), many such habitats appear to support eukaryotic microbes. This contribution presents brief reviews of our current knowledge on eukaryotes of water-column haloclines and brines from Deep Hypersaline Anoxic Basins (DHABs) of the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as shallow-water hypersaline microbial mats in solar salterns of Guerrero Negro, Mexico and benthic microbialite communities from Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia. New data on eukaryotic diversity from Shark Bay microbialites indicates eukaryotes are more diverse than previously reported. Although this comparison shows that eukaryotic communities in hypersaline habitats with varying physicochemical characteristics are unique, several groups are commonly found, including diverse alveolates, strameonopiles, and fungi, as well as radiolaria. Many eukaryote sequences (SSU) in both regions also have no close homologues in public databases, suggesting that these environments host unique microbial eukaryote assemblages with the potential to enhance our understanding of the capacity of eukaryotes to adapt to hypersaline conditions.
Keywords: hypersaline; protist; eukaryote; microbialite; saltern; DHAB; Hamelin Pool; E. Mediterranean Sea; foraminifera; SSU rRNA hypersaline; protist; eukaryote; microbialite; saltern; DHAB; Hamelin Pool; E. Mediterranean Sea; foraminifera; SSU rRNA
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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Edgcomb, V.P.; Bernhard, J.M. Heterotrophic Protists in Hypersaline Microbial Mats and Deep Hypersaline Basin Water Columns. Life 2013, 3, 346-362.

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