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Biology 2013, 2(1), 331-340; doi:10.3390/biology2010331

Micro-Eukaryotic Diversity in Hypolithons from Miers Valley, Antarctica

1 Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, Bellville 7535, South Africa 2 Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, Department of Genetics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa 3 The International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 11 February 2013 / Accepted: 18 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Microbiology: Recent Advances and Future Perspectives)
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The discovery of extensive and complex hypolithic communities in both cold and hot deserts has raised many questions regarding their ecology, biodiversity and relevance in terms of regional productivity. However, most hypolithic research has focused on the bacterial elements of the community. This study represents the first investigation of micro-eukaryotic communities in all three hypolith types. Here we show that Antarctic hypoliths support extensive populations of novel uncharacterized bryophyta, fungi and protists and suggest that well known producer-decomposer-predator interactions may create the necessary conditions for hypolithic productivity in Antarctic deserts.
Keywords: Antarctica; micro-eukaryotes; hypoliths Antarctica; micro-eukaryotes; hypoliths
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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Gokul, J.K.; Valverde, A.; Tuffin, M.; Cary, S.C.; Cowan, D.A. Micro-Eukaryotic Diversity in Hypolithons from Miers Valley, Antarctica. Biology 2013, 2, 331-340.

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