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High altitude, hyper-arid soils of the Central-Andes harbor mega-diverse communities of actinobacteria

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alan Bull, Hamidah Idris, Dr Roy Sanderson, Professor Michael Goodfellow



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Author(s) The data reported in this paper are among the first relating to the microbiology of hyper-arid, very high altitude deserts and they provide base line information on the structure of actinobacterial communities. The high mountain Cerro Chajnantor landscape of the Central Andes in northern Chile is exposed to the world’s most intense levels of solar radiation and its impoverished soils are severely desiccated. The purpose of this research was to define the actinobacterial community structures in soils at altitudes ranging from 3000 to 5000 m above sea level. Pyrosequencing surveys have revealed an extraordinary degree of microbial dark matter at these elevations that includes novel candidate actinobacterial classes, orders and families. Ultraviolet-B irradiance and a range of edaphic factors were found to be highly significant in determining community compositions at family and genus levels of diversity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bull AT, Idris H, Sanderson R, Asenjo J, Andrews B, Goodfellow M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Extremophiles

Year: 2018

Volume: 22

Issue: 1

Pages: 47-57

Print publication date: 01/01/2018

Online publication date: 03/11/2017

Acceptance date: 24/10/2017

Date deposited: 13/11/2017

ISSN (print): 1431-0651

ISSN (electronic): 1433-4909

Publisher: Springer Tokyo


DOI: 10.1007/s00792-017-0976-5


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