CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE PLANETARY SCIENCE (CIPS)

BioMARSNeutrophilic Fe-oxidizers:
Habitats, Distribution,
and Physiology
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Neutrophilic Fe-oxidizers: Habitats, Distribution, and Physiology

David Emerson (George Mason University)

      Project Members: David Emerson (George Mason University). Ph.D, Co-Investigator, Research Scientist, ATCC; Robin Sutka, Ph.D, postdoctoral (through Sept. 2003), Melissa Floyd (current graduate student, George Mason Univ.), Cynthia Lydell (technician, ATCC, partial support from NAI)

     In addition, to strains already in hand, we have begun new enrichment cultures from Fe mats located at the Loihi Seamount near Hawaii, the Eifuku Seamount near Guam, and the Soufriere hot spring system on the island of St. Lucia. This latter site is especially interesting because there are 50°C thermal springs there that show significant signs of microbial Fe-oxidation.

     Melissa Floyd, a graduate student in the lab, has been developing a laboratory microcosm system that simulates conditions that occur in natural Fe-springs. The initial engineering challenge of maintaining suitable concentrations of Fe(II) under microaerobic conditions at neutral pH has nearly been met. This system will allow us to address questions about the physiology and molecular ecology under controlled conditions in the laboratory. Once the system is fully functional we intend to carryout model-testing experiment with the help of Dr. Roden.


Recent Research:

Department of Astronomy    601 Campbell Hall    Berkeley, CA 94720-3411    510-643-2457