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How are microorganisms ubiquitous and live in diverse and dynamic ecosystems?

Topic

Systems

Framing Question

How are microorganisms ubiquitous and live in diverse and dynamic ecosystems?

Learning Objectives

  • List two keystone bacterial guilds in these environments: oligotrophic ocean, marshland soil, and agricultural field (or others).
  • Describe an extreme environment where microbes can survive under conditions that humans cannot.
  • Explain what adaptations have occurred in psychrophiles/thermophiles/halophiles, etc., that permit them to exist in their optimal environmental growth conditions.
  • List the main characteristics of microbes that might be present in a given ecosystem, e.g., the animal gastrointestinal tract, the anaerobic mud layer at the pond bottom, etc.
  • Speculate on what characteristics would be useful for a microbe to survive a move through interplanetary space.
  • Discuss how metagenomics can be a tool to study microbes in situ and/or in extreme environments.

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