Press release

More images of the Blue-green Rock Dweller Chroococcidiopsis

Weathered Beacon sandstone at the Linnaeus Terrace region of the Dry Valleys at 1250 meters altitude. Under the rock surface the Blue-Green Rock Dweller (Chroococcidiopsis) lives in the frosty cold of Antarctica. Photo: Burkhard Büdel, TU Kaiserslautern
The Blue-Green Rock Dweller (Chroococcidiopsis) lives everywhere on Earth in the upper layers of rocks, as for example in this fractured gypsum rock from the lower Saxony city Bad Sachsa. Photo: Burkhard Büdel, TU Kaiserslautern.
Gypsum rock cliff at Bad Sachsa, Germany, under its surface lives the Blue-Green Rock Dweller (Chroococcidiopsis). Photo: Burkhard Büdel, TU Kaiserslautern
The Blue-Green Rock Dweller Chroococcidiopsis thermalis is a small species living in hot springs and soils. The cultured material shown here was isolated in 1962 from a soil sample at Greifswald. Since then, it has been kept in pure culture. The species is also found in thermal springs in Greece and Slovakia. Photo: Tatyana Darienko, Culture Collection of Algae, University of Göttingen (SAG no 42.79).
The Blue-Green Rock Dweller (Chroococcidiopsis) was discovered here underneath quartz pebbles in the Namib-Desert of Namibia. Soil surface temperature can reach far more than 50°C during the day. Photo: Burkhard Büdel, TU Kaiserslautern
In the central part of the Namib desert, 50 km inland, quartz pebbles colonized by the Blue-Green Rock Dweller at the lower surface can regularly be found embedded in the soil. In this hypolithic habitat, the algae profit from more moderate temperatures and evaporated water condensing on the lower, soil embedded surface of the quartz pebbles. Photo: Burkhard Büdel, TU Kaiserslautern
The Blue-Green Rock Dweller (Chroococcidiopsis) is also the photobiont of the gelatinous lichen Paulia perforata. There, the cyanobacterial cells are surrounded by fungal filaments and a gelatinous substance. It provides photosynthetically produced nutrients to the fungal partner and the fungus creates protection and an optimal structural arrangement for better air diffusion for the blue-green rock dweller. Sample from Yemen, island of Socotra, summer rain zone, on steep calcareous rocks. Photo: Matthias Schultz, Universität Hamburg
Using a microscope the unicellular character of the Blue-Green Rock Dweller species Chroococcidiopsis cubana becomes visible, as well as the gelatinous sheath surrounding each cell. The gelatinous sheath protects the cyanobacterium from extreme drying and excessive insolation. Photo: Tatyana Darienko, Culture Collection of Algae, University of Göttingen (SAG no 39.79).
Colonies of the Blue-Green Rock Dweller (Chroococcidiopsis) isolated from a calcareous rock of Hawaii, showing baeocyte formation (dispersal cells, arrows). Baeocytes are produced by continuous cell divisions without growth in between. The resulting small cells remain in the gelatinous sheath (not cell wall!) of the mother cell, this later on ruptures and releases the baeocytes (arrows). Photo: Burkhard Büdel, Collection of terrestrial Cyanobacteria and Cyanobionts
Freeze-etched cross-fracture through a colony of the Blue-Green Rock Dweller (Chroococcidiopsis) after the first two perpendicular cell divisions. The four resulting cells are arranged in a regular quadratic manner. The upper right cell already had one additional cell division. Photo taken with a transmission-electron-microscope and colorized for illustration purposes. G (grey) = gelatinous sheath, DNA (brown) = region of the circular genome, densely interwoven, PM (green) = photosynthetic membrane, CM (yellow) = cytoplasmic membrane, CO (blue) = carboxysome, with whom cyanobacteria fix carbon dioxide, CW = cell wall. Photo: Burkhard Büdel, TU Kaiserslautern

Photos for the press release Alga of the year 2017: Blue-Green Rock Dweller – ancient and still a pioneer 


Use of the images is only permitted in connection with reporting on the topic ‘alga of the year 2016’ and only if the photographers are acknowledged in the format: first name, second name, institution. Commercial use of the images is not permitted.

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