Ferran Garcia-Pichel

Learn 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)
We compared the community structures of cyanobacteria in four biological desert crusts from Utah's Colorado Plateau developing on different substrata. We analyzed natural samples, cultures, and cyanobacterial filaments or colonies retrieved by micromanipulation from field samples using microscopy, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and sequencing of(More)
We used micromanipulation to isolate from their environment representative samples of seven geographically distant field populations fitting the description of Microcoleus chthonoplastes (a cyanobacterium) and obtained seven corresponding cultured strains. Samples of both field populations and cultures were phenotypically characterized by microscale(More)
We characterized, at millimeter resolution, bacterial biomass, diversity, and vertical stratification of biological soil crusts in arid lands from the Colorado Plateau. Microscopic counts, extractable DNA, and plate counts of viable aerobic copiotrophs (VAC) revealed that the top centimeter of crusted soils contained atypically large bacterial populations,(More)
We examined the morphology, physiology, and 16S rRNA gene sequences of three culture collection strains and of ten novel isolates of unicellular cyanobacteria from hypersaline environments. The strains were morphologically diverse, with average cell widths ranging from 2.8 to 10.3 μm. There were single-celled, colonial, and baeocyte-forming strains.(More)
Despite knowledge of the existence of the pigment called scytonemin for over 100 years, its structure has remained unsolved until now. This pigment, the first shown to be an effective, photo-stable ultraviolet shield in prokaryotes, is a novel dimeric molecule (molec. wt. 544) of indolic and phenolic subunits and is known only from the sheaths enclosing the(More)
We studied prokaryotic community structure and composition in biological soil crusts (BSCs) from the Sonoran Desert, and their variability over space and time, using statistically analyzed, PCR-based molecular surveys of environmental 16S rRNA genes. Four sites, tens of km apart, were sampled, 3 times over a 1 year period, collecting 10 duplicate samples(More)
We quantified the diversity of oxygenic phototrophic microorganisms present in eight hypersaline microbial mats on the basis of three cultivation-independent approaches. Morphological diversity was studied by microscopy. The diversity of carotenoids was examined by extraction from mat samples and high-pressure liquid chromatography analysis. The diversity(More)
Exposure to the shortest wavelengths in sunlight, ultraviolet light, constitutes a deleterious ecological factor for many microorganisms. The use of secondary metabolites as sunscreens has emerged as an important photoprotective mechanism in certain groups of large-celled microorganisms, such as cyanobacteria, fungi and many protists. In this Review, we(More)