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National Science Foundation (USA) 2009

Community structure, genomic heterogeneity and metabolic diversity of the microbiome of the oldest and driest desert on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile

Microbiome Desert Atacama

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Titre : Community structure, genomic heterogeneity and metabolic diversity of the microbiome of the oldest and driest desert on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile

Organismes NSF : Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)

Durée : August 1, 2009 — October 31, 2012

Description
Life can adapt to extreme environments but are there limits ? Can life adapt to places where there are essentially no water or nutrients ? The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is the oldest and driest desert on Earth. Its hyper-arid core has extremely low levels of organic carbon and rain events are sparse, occurring once every 10 to 50 years. While microorganisms have been shown to inhabit this unique environment, no large-scale study has been conducted to characterize the microbial community in this extreme environment. In this project, we will use a metagenomic approach to survey and characterize the structure, metabolic diversity, and genomic heterogeneity of the microbial soil community of the Atacama Desert. The Atacama Desert is well suited for this investigation because of the long-established extreme conditions (>15 million years) with low water and nutrient availability.
This project will also provide insights on the diversity of resilient microorganisms that we might find when large-scale desertification takes place, which can occur with climate change. The project will train a PhD student in genomics and bioinformatics, and several undergraduate students will be involved through the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program. The PIs will continue their commitment to K-12 education through NSF programs and direct contributions to the community. The metagenomic data generated by this project will be integrated into a microbial genomic class at Johns Hopkins University.

Partenaire (s) : Jocelyne DiRuggiero jdiruggiero jhu.edu (Principal Investigator) Mihai Pop (Co-Principal Investigator) Jacques Ravel (Co-Principal Investigator)

Financement : $478,584.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 25 mars 2017, mise à jour le 7 novembre 2017