Ferran Garcia-Pichel

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Introduction Global change caused by anthropogenic activities may significantly modify the abundance, structure, and function of biological soil crusts. The components of global change can be grouped into (1) those that impact discreet sites but are occurring on a global scale, such as land-use change and invasive species, and (2) those that alter(More)
Biological soil crusts (BSCs) cover extensive portions of the earth's deserts. In order to survive desiccation cycles and utilize short periods of activity during infrequent precipitation, crust microorganisms must rely on the unique capabilities of vegetative cells to enter a dormant state and be poised for rapid resuscitation upon wetting. To elucidate(More)
We developed and tested a set of oligonucleotide primers for the specific amplification of 16S rRNA gene segments from cyanobacteria and plastids by PCR. PCR products were recovered from all cultures of cyanobacteria and diatoms that were checked but not from other bacteria and archaea. Gene segments selectively retrieved from cyanobacteria and diatoms in(More)
Microbial communities can play a critical role in soil development and succession at glacial forelands through their contribution to soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. Using a combination of molecular fingerprinting techniques and metabolic rate measurements, we examined the soil microbial community composition and key transformations in the C and N(More)
Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs) are organosedimentary assemblages comprised of microbes and minerals in topsoil of terrestrial environments. BSCs strongly impact soil quality in dryland ecosystems (e.g., soil structure and nutrient yields) due to pioneer species such as Microcoleus vaginatus; phototrophs that produce filaments that bind the soil together, and(More)
Nitrogen (N) limitation significantly increased the sensitivity of photosynthesis to inhibition by ultraviolet radiation (UV) in two estuarine dinoflagellates, Akashiwo sanguinea (ϭ Gymnodinium sanguineum) and Gymnodinium (ϭ Gyrodinium) cf. instriatum. Biological weighting functions (BWFs) and the kinetics of photosynthetic response to UV indicated that the(More)
Global warming will likely force terrestrial plant and animal species to migrate toward cooler areas or sustain range losses; whether this is also true for microorganisms remains unknown. Through continental-scale compositional surveys of soil crust microbial communities across arid North America, we observed a latitudinal replacement in dominance between(More)
BACKGROUND The extracellular sunscreen scytonemin is the most common and widespread indole-alkaloid among cyanobacteria. Previous research using the cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme ATCC 29133 revealed a unique 18-gene cluster (NpR1276 to NpR1259 in the N. punctiforme genome) involved in the biosynthesis of scytonemin. We provide further genomic(More)