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Paper: Extremophilies as Models for Extraterrestrial Life
Volume: 213, Bioastronomy '99: A New Era in Bioastronomy
Page: 379
Authors: Seckbach, Joseph
Abstract: Recent investigations have demonstrated that microbial life is ubiquitous and found in various extreme environments. Extreme ecological locations such as exist in Antarctica may provide us with psychrophilic life. On the other temperature range, the microbes from hot sulfur acidic springs of Yellowstone National Park (USA) shed light on the thermo-acidophilic microorganisms. Such thermophilic environments may suggest a possible cradle of the Origin of Life. The extremophiles (mainly Archea and Eubacteria) are good models for ancient living forms on Earth, as well as candidates for extraterrestrial living forms. Similarly, the fossilized bacteria on Earth give us speculation on the Origin of Life, while the recently discovered fossilized nano-bacteria found in Antarctican meteorite may provide us with speculation on ancient Martian Life. We will review the Cyanidian algal group and describe their special features. The algal members of the Cyanidia are: Cyanidium, Galdieria and Cyanidioschyzon. These algae (Prerhodophyta) are the only eukaryan cells detected in acidophilic thermophilic environments. They have shown to thrive in very low pH and at elevated temperature ranges. Further, the Cyanidian cells grow better under pure carbondioxide than in air (data presented in photosynthetic rates and number of cells during their growth period).
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