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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)
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)
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 studied the microbial diversity of benthic cyanobacterial mats inhabiting a heavily polluted site in a coastal stream (Wadi Gaza) and monitored the microbial community response induced by exposure to and degradation of four model petroleum compounds in the laboratory. Phormidium- and Oscillatoria-like cyanobacterial morphotypes were dominant in the(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)
Under exposure to UV radiation, some cyanobacteria synthesize sunscreen compounds. Scytonemin is a heterocyclic indole-alkaloid sunscreen, the synthesis of which is induced upon exposure to UVA (long-wavelength UV) radiation. We previously identified and characterized an 18-gene cluster associated with scytonemin biosynthesis in the cyanobacterium Nostoc(More)
Strain OR362-8T was isolated from a biological soil crust sample collected from the southwestern arid lands of the United States of America, using BG11-PGY medium. Cells of OR362-8T were found to be rod shaped; occur singly, as pairs and in groups; non-motile; positive for catalase, oxidase, phosphatase and gelatinase; hydrolyze starch; contain iso-C15:0,(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)