Virginia Helena Albarracín

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We describe stromatolites forming at an altitude of 3570 m at the shore of a volcanic lake Socompa, Argentinean Andes. The water at the site of stromatolites formation is alkaline, hypersaline, rich in inorganic nutrients, very rich in arsenic, and warm (20-24°C) due to a hydrothermal input. The stromatolites do not lithify, but form broad, rounded and(More)
High-Altitude Andean Lakes (HAAL) of the South American Andes are almost unexplored ecosystems of shallow lakes. The HAAL are recognized by a remarkably high UV exposure, strong changes in temperature and salinity, and a high content of toxic elements, especially arsenic. Being exposed to remarkably extreme conditions, they have been classified as model(More)
The production of triacylglycerols (TAG) or wax esters (WS) seems to be a widespread feature among extremophile bacteria living in high-altitude Andean Lakes (HAAL), Argentina. Twelve out of twenty bacterial strains isolated from HAAL were able to produce TAG or WS (between 2 and 17 % of cellular dry weight) under nitrogen-limiting culture conditions. Among(More)
Ultraviolet radiation can damage biomolecules, with detrimental or even lethal effects for life. Even though lower wavelengths are filtered by the ozone layer, a significant amount of harmful UV-B and UV-A radiation reach Earth's surface, particularly in high altitude environments. high-altitude Andean lakes (HAALs) are a group of disperse shallow lakes and(More)
The sequenced genome of the poly-extremophile Exiguobacterium sp. S17, isolated from modern stromatolites at Laguna Socompa (3,570 m), a High-Altitude Andean Lake (HAAL) in Argentinean Puna revealed a putative proteorhodopsin-encoding gene. The HAAL area is exposed to the highest UV irradiation on Earth, making the microbial community living in the(More)
The Central Andes region displays unexplored ecosystems of shallow lakes and salt flats at mean altitudes of 3700 m. Being isolated and hostile, these so-called "High-Altitude Andean Lakes" (HAAL) are pristine and have been exposed to little human influence. HAAL proved to be a rich source of microbes showing interesting adaptations to life in extreme(More)
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