They discover extremophile organisms in the pink lagoon of Peña Hueca

A group of scientists, of which the researcher of the Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA) Felipe Gómez, has discovered a microorganism in the Laguna de Peña Hueca, in the province of Toledo, which is capable of surviving despite the high concentrations of salt and sulfur in its waters.

This microorganism, Dunaliella EP-1, is the one that provides that pink tone so characteristic of the lagoon, which is part of the Lago Tirez system and is considered a good analogue for the deposits of chlorides found in the southern highlands of Mars and brackish waters below the icy crust of Europe.

" The resistance of extremophiles to analogous Mars conditions on Earth demonstrates their potential to thrive in Martian soils, "explains Feli Pe Gómez, who in addition to participating in the study, has coordinated the visit to the Laguna.

The CAB researcher adds that" due to the pink color, which is due to the production of carotenes, this discovery has potential application in biomedicine and biotechnology ".

The results of the study have been presented at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2018, which It has been held in Berlin from September 16 to 21.


Figure: Image of the Lagoon Peña Hueca © Europlanet / F. Gómez / R. Thombre

 

Fuente: UCC-CAB y Felipe Gómez (Dpto. de Planetología y Habitabilidad)

 

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