Environments with extremes of temperature, pH, solar radiation, salt concentration, and pressure produce exquisitely tailored solutions by resident biota. Prokaryotes are the usual masters of life at the extreme, and until recently, algae that have evolved under similar conditions, have been largely overlooked. Our project focuses on the Cyanidiophyceae, a group of unicellular red algae that occupies a variety of hot springs and acid mining sites. We will use omics technology to determine how these algae become extremophiles and how we can use this knowledge to support human activities.
Proposer: Debashish Bhattacharya, Rutgers University
Proposal: Extreme solutions to extreme problems: studies of life at the edge using Cyanidiophyceae red algae