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See detailBiodiversity studies in Open-Top Chambers in continental Antarctica
Mano, Marie-José ULg; Namsaraev, Zorigto; Obbels, Dagmar et al

Poster (2013, July)

Open Top Chambers are passive warming systems used to experimentally assess the effect of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems, and they were used in several Antarctic regions to study the response of ... [more ▼]

Open Top Chambers are passive warming systems used to experimentally assess the effect of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems, and they were used in several Antarctic regions to study the response of biotic communities. In the BELSPO BELDIVA project, OTCs were used in continental Eastern Antarctica, where environmental conditions are very extreme. In January 2010, 8 Open-Top Chambers (OTC) were installed in four ice-free regions of the Sör Rondane Mountains, namely on the Utsteinen ridge, the Tanngarden granite outcrop, the Teltet nunatak and the fourth nunatak of the Pingvinane range. [less ▲]

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See detailThe diversity and tolerance to osmotic stress of East Antarctic filamentous Cyanobacteria
Obbels, Dagmar; Verleyen, Elie; Tytgat, Bjorn et al

Poster (2013, July)

Filamentous cyanobacteria are keystone species in Antarctic lake ecosystems; they are the basis of the simple foodwebs, play a crucial role in biogeochemical cycling and form the structure of benthic ... [more ▼]

Filamentous cyanobacteria are keystone species in Antarctic lake ecosystems; they are the basis of the simple foodwebs, play a crucial role in biogeochemical cycling and form the structure of benthic microbial mats which act as habitats for other prokaryotic and (micro-eukaryotic biota. Despite this, little is known about their diversity, adaptation and survival strategies in the extreme Antarctic conditions. We studied the uncultivated prokaryotic diversity using a 454 metagenomic analysis at the 16S rRNA level (V1-V3 region) in Continental Antarctic lakes situated along a conductivity gradient (0.014-142.02 mS/cm). The quality and length of the amplicons was analyzed with a custom-made Mothur pipeline and the resulting sequences were mapped against the Greengenes database, which includes CyanoDB. Almost 27% of the sequences could be assigned to the phylum of the cyanobacteria. The most abundant cyanobacteria in the dataset belonged to the genera Microcoleus, Leptolyngbya, Pseudanabaena, Nodularia and Phormidum. Some 16S rRNA types (at the 97% similarity level), such as sequences related to Leptolynbya antarctica, were present in both freshwater and hypersaline lakes. In order to further investigate this distribution, we isolated filaments of Leptolyngbya from seven lakes with conductivities ranging between 26.8 mS/cm and 0.038 mS/cm. The complete 16S rRNA and ITS genes of the isolates were subsequently sequenced. We found several 16S types related to different lineages of filamentous cyanobacteria in the seven lakes that were supported by ITS data. Two 16S types, belonging to a Leptolyngbya antarctica and Leptolyngbya sp., were each present in two different freshwater lakes. Two different 16S types, both belonging to Leptolynbya antarctica were present in a freshwater and hypersaline lake, which indicates a high ‘intraspecific’ molecular diversity. In order to better understand the adaptation and/or wide tolerance to osmotic stress, we are currently performing ecophysiological experiments with these isolates aimed at assessing the potential local adaptation of these strains to conductivity and desiccation. [less ▲]

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See detailClimate change simulation in continental Antarctica using Open-Top Chambers
Mano, Marie-José ULg; Namsaraev, Zorigto; Gorodetskaya, Irina et al

Poster (2012, July)

In continental Antarctica, the environnmental conditions are extreme and only microbial organisms can withstand them. Currently, the majority of OTCs experiments are being held in Maritime Antarctica but ... [more ▼]

In continental Antarctica, the environnmental conditions are extreme and only microbial organisms can withstand them. Currently, the majority of OTCs experiments are being held in Maritime Antarctica but it would be interesting to have such data for the continental part of Eastern Antarctica. To monitor the response of the microbial communities to local simulations of climate change, 8 Open-Top Chambers (OTC) were installed close to the Princess Elisabeth station, in the Sor Rondane Mountains in January 2010. They are located on the Utsteinen ridge, the Tanngarden granite outcrop, the Teltet nunatak and the fourth nunatak of the Pingvinane range. In each location, two OTCs and a control area were established. Temperature and humidity loggers were installed inside the OTCs and outside, in the control areas, to estimate the environmental changes induced by the OTCs. [less ▲]

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See detailA collection of polar cyanobacteria to contribute to the inventory of the biodiversity and discover the biotechnological potential
Wilmotte, Annick ULg; Waleron, Kzryzstof; Waleron, Malgorzata et al

Poster (2011, February)

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See detailPlectolyngbya hodgsonii: a novel filamentous cyanobacterium from Antarctic lakes
Taton, Arnaud; Wilmotte, Annick ULg; Smarda, Jan et al

in Polar Biology (2011), 34

A special cluster of filamentous, false-branched cyanobacteria, isolated from littoral mat samples in coastal lakes of the Larsemann Hills region (coll. by D. Hodgson) was studied by a polyphasic approach ... [more ▼]

A special cluster of filamentous, false-branched cyanobacteria, isolated from littoral mat samples in coastal lakes of the Larsemann Hills region (coll. by D. Hodgson) was studied by a polyphasic approach. This morphotype has several characters corresponding to the traditional genera Leptolyngbya (morphology of trichomes), Pseudophormidium (type of false branching) or Schizothrix (occasional multiple arrangement of trichomes in the sheaths). However, this cluster of strains is distinctly isolated according to its phylogenetic position (based on 16S rRNA gene sequences), and thus, a separate generic classification is justified. The cytomorphology of this generic entity is also characteristic. Therefore, a new genus (Plectolyngbya with the type species P. hodgsonii) was described. [less ▲]

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