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MASE Grænavatn sampling field trip in Iceland

October 10 2014

The second sampling trip of MASE project took place on the 11th September 2014. This field trip was at Graenavatn Lake in Iceland. The lake is situated near a group of maar type explosion craters, probably over 6000 years old. Grænavatn Lake is about 45 m deep and few hundred meters in diameter and has a strange greenish colour derived from sulphur compounds. The lake is in average 4°C with pH around 2 and there is a hydrothermal activity on the bottom of the lake.



The lake offers the ideal environment for microbes which could be able to resist to Martian condition life due to the extreme physico-chemical parameters. Objectives of this sampling trip were to geologically characterise the lake: DOC analysis, cations and anions analyses and amino acid extraction and to explore the microbial diversity with different methods. Cultivation by enrichment cultures using specific growth medium in anaerobic conditions was done and we will use molecular methods such as 16S rDNA sequencing and FISH experiments to obtain a complete view of cultivated and uncultivated in situ microorganisms in the lak.

Water samples were collected and stored at 4°C in aerobic and anaerobic conditions and also sediments samples more able to harbour anaerobic microorganisms. Geological analyses and microbial cultivations are ongoing and various microorganisms begin to grow at 4, 10 and 22°C.






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