Why sequence Yellowstone's microbial mat communities?
Chlorophototrophic organisms use photochemical reaction centers to convert light energy into chemical energy. The microbial mats consisting of these microbes in the alkaline siliceous hot springs of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) have been studied for decades as models for understanding the composition, structure and function of microbial communities. For the project, six microbial mat communities in YNP are being sequenced to better understand their ability to capture and efficiently convert solar energy into chemical/biological energy, as well as for the opportunity to identify novel microbes that could be useful in studying global biogeochemical cycles.
Principal Investigators: Donald Bryant, Penn State University
Program: CSP 2011