Origins of Halophilic Microorganisms in Ancient Salt Deposits

Terry McGenity, Renia Gemmell, William Grant, Helga Stan-Lotter, Environmental Microbiology

This eight-page review article considers the evidence for and against long-term survival of halophilic microorganisms in ancient salt deposits. Included sections are hypersaline environments and their inhabitants, haloarchaea and halite precipitation, isolations of microorganisms from brines in salt mines, isolations of microorganisms from ancient rock salt, isolations of microorganisms directly from fluid inclusions, relationship of subsurface haloarchaea to surface isolates, dispersal of haloarchaea, and long-term survival of haloarchaea inside salt crystals.

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Subject: Biology:Ecology:Symbiotic Relations:Mutualism, Biology:Ecology:Principles, Biology:Evolution:Principles, Patterns, Biology:Microbiology, Astrobiology, Biogeochemistry
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work
Grade Level: Graduate/Professional, College Upper (15-16), College Lower (13-14)
Extreme Environments: Hypersaline
Topics: Biosphere:Evolution:Patterns, Principles, Biosphere:Ecology:Abiotic Relations, Biosphere:Evolution:Processes, Biosphere:Biogeochemistry, Microbiology, Astrobiology, Ecology:Principles
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Biogeoscience