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Aeolian transport of viable microbial life across the Atacama Desert, Chile: Implications for Mars
Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Madrid, Spain. Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Chile.
Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Madrid, Spain.
Atacama Biotech, Santiago, Chile.
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2019 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, article id 11024Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Here we inspect whether microbial life may disperse using dust transported by wind in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, a well-known Mars analog model. By setting a simple experiment across the hyperarid core of the Atacama we found that a number of viable bacteria and fungi are in fact able to traverse the driest and most UV irradiated desert on Earth unscathed using wind-transported dust, particularly in the later afternoon hours. This finding suggests that microbial life on Mars, extant or past, may have similarly benefited from aeolian transport to move across the planet and find suitable habitats to thrive and evolve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 9, article id 11024
National Category
Microbiology Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75664DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-47394-zISI: 000482181700001PubMedID: 31439858Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85071189771OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-75664DiVA, id: diva2:1345093
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-08-27 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-09-09Bibliographically approved

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Fonseca, RicardoMartin-Torres, JavierZorzano Mier, María-Paz

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