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Microstructural Characterization of Cyanobacterial Mats from the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica

AutorRíos, Asunción de los ; Ascaso, Carmen ; Wierzchos, Jacek ; Fernández-Valiente, Eduardo; Quesada, Antonio
Fecha de publicaciónene-2004
EditorAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitaciónAppl Environ Microbiol. 2004 January; 70(1): 569–580.
ResumenThe three-dimensional structures of two types of cyanobacterium-dominated microbial mats from meltwater ponds on the McMurdo Ice Shelf were as determined by using a broad suite of complementary techniques, including optical and fluorescence microscopy, confocal scanning laser microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with back-scattered electron-imaging mode, low-temperature scanning electron microscopy, and microanalyitical X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy. By using a combination of the different in situ microscopic techniques, the Antarctic microbial mats were found to be structures with vertical stratification of groups of cyanobacteria and mineral sediments, high contents of extracellular polymeric substances, and large void spaces occupied by water. In cyanobacterium-rich layers, heterocystous nostocalean and nonheterocystous oscillatorialean taxa were the most abundant taxa and appeared to be intermixed with fine-size deposits of epicellular silica and calcium carbonate. Most of the cyanobacterial filaments had similar orientations in zones without sediment particles, but thin filaments were tangled among thicker filaments. The combination of the microscopic techniques used showed the relative positions of biological and mineral entities within the microbial mats and enabled some speculation about their interactions.
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