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STScI Astrobiology Lecture Series

Chemoautotrophically-Based Microbial Communities in an Extreme Subsurface Environment

Presented by: Jill Banfield ((University of California, Berkeley))
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes   Broadcast date: February 05, 2010
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Iron and sulfur redox chemistry support chemoautotrophic subsurface microbial communities on Earth, and could potentially sustain a biosphere on Mars. In this talk, I will describe a highly productive ecosystem in an extreme natural environment that is supported by air, water, and iron sulfide minerals. Through integrating cultivation-independent molecular ('omic', imaging, and other) methods with geochemical approaches, it has been possible to begin to determine how these communities are structured and to unravel complex interdependencies, spatial organization, and evolutionary pathways.


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