Newly Discovered Microbes Named After Mars

Morning Glory Pool 2In a new study published in the journal Nature Microbiology, a team of researchers from Montana State have discovered a new phylum of Archaea from the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park. These single-celled organisms thrive in iron oxide-rich habitats and have thus been named Marsarchaeota after the red planet. The Marsarchaeota form microbial mats within Yellowstone’s geothermal pools and survive in acidic waters with temperatures up to 80° C. Due to the widespread distribution of these organisms with the geothermal pools, the authors postulate that these environments may have played a key role in the development of Arcahaea during the early Earth. READ MORE »