Science Alert headline: Nearly 1,000 Microbe Species Have Just Been Discovered in ‘Extreme’ Tibetan Glaciers
JACINTA BOWLER3 JULY 2022
Living as a microbe on the Tibetan Plateau isn’t easy. Frigid temperatures, high levels of solar radiation, not a lot to eat, and you’d regularly get frozen and then thawed depending on the time of year.
So, it’s a bit of a surprise that in these ‘extreme environmental conditions’ scientists have discovered 968 species featuring a hugely diverse range of microbes. The finding comes courtesy of the first dedicated genome catalog of the glacier ecosystem.
“The surfaces of glaciers support a diverse array of life, including bacteria, algae, archaea, fungi, and other microeukaryotes. Microorganisms have demonstrated the ability to adapt to these extreme conditions and contribute to vital ecological processes,” writes the team in their new paper.