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The McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are a cold hyperarid polar desert that present extreme challenges to life. Here, we report a culture-independent survey of multidomain microbial biodiversity in McKelvey Valley, a pristine example of the coldest desert on Earth. We demonstrate that life has adapted to form highly-specialized communities in distinct(More)
Wood is a major pool of organic carbon that is highly resistant to decay, owing largely to the presence of lignin. The only organisms capable of substantial lignin decay are white rot fungi in the Agaricomycetes, which also contains non-lignin-degrading brown rot and ectomycorrhizal species. Comparative analyses of 31 fungal genomes (12 generated for this(More)
The historic expedition huts located in the Ross Sea Region of the Antarctic and the thousands of artifacts left behind by the early explorers represent important cultural heritage from the "Heroic Era" of Polar exploration. The hut at Cape Royds built by Ernest Shackleton and members of the 1907-1908 British Antarctic Expedition has survived the extreme(More)
Early explorers of Antarctica's Heroic Era erected wooden buildings and brought large quantities of supplies to survive in Antarctica. The introduction of wood and other organic materials provided nutrient sources for fungi that were indigenous to Antarctica or were brought in with the materials and adapted to the harsh conditions. Seventy-two isolates of(More)
Three expedition huts in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica, built between 1901 and 1911 by Robert F. Scott and Ernest Shackleton, sheltered and stored the supplies for up to 48 men for 3 years during their explorations and scientific investigation in the South Pole region. The huts, built with wood taken to Antarctica by the early explorers, have(More)
The use of wood in construction has had a long history and Chile has a rich cultural heritage of using native woods for building churches and other important structures. In 2000, UNESCO designated a number of the historic churches of Chiloé, built entirely of native woods, as World Heritage Sites. These unique churches were built in the late 1700 s and(More)
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