Endolithic cyanobacteria in halite rocks from the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert.

@article{Wierzchos2006EndolithicCI,
  title={Endolithic cyanobacteria in halite rocks from the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert.},
  author={Jacek Wierzchos and Carmen Ascaso and Christopher P McKay},
  journal={Astrobiology},
  year={2006},
  volume={6 3},
  pages={415-22}
}
In the driest parts of the Atacama Desert there are no visible life forms on soil or rock surfaces. The soil in this region contains only minute traces of bacteria distributed in patches, and conditions are too dry for cyanobacteria that live under translucent stones. Here we show that halite evaporite rocks from the driest part of the Atacama Desert are colonized by cyanobacteria. This colonization takes place just a few millimeters beneath the rock surface, occupying spaces among salt… CONTINUE READING
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