OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences

HYPOLITHIC CYANOBACTERIA COLONIZATION OF QUARTZ AT SOUTH DESERT

Roda F. Al-Thani

DOI : 10.3844/ojbsci.2014.57.63

OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences

Volume 14, Issue 1

Pages 57-63

Abstract

Hypolithic microbial communities (found underneath rocks) were encountered in the southern desert of Qatar where quartz rocks are ubiquitous and are a substrate for hypoliths. These hypoliths thrive where extreme temperature, moisture stress and high light intensity limit the occurrence of higher plants and animal life. A small-scale ecological survey indicated that 80% of the quartz rocks in the area were colonized by green hypolithic microbial communities dominated by colonization of cyanobacteria. Using light and electron microscopic analyses; the cyanobacterial community structure of hypoliths was shown to be dominated by cyanobacteria affiliated to the genera Chroococcidiopsis, Aphanothece, Pleurocapsa, Oscillatoria, Lyngbya, Leptolyngbya, Phormidium and Scytonema).

Copyright

© 2014 Roda F. Al-Thani. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.