SUMMARY: Soil samples from sites in the Dry Valleys of South Victoria Land, Antarctica, similar to some sites previously considered abiotic, contained a variety of microbes. The fungi recovered included (all previously unreported from Antarctica), var. and , as well as some unremarkable filamentous fungi imperfecti. occurs only in these soils, has a distribution suggesting indigenous origin and shows appropriate psychrophilic character and energy requirements for life in this highly stressed environment. Populations of cloned and grown at 4 °C are heterogeneous in temperature response, some cells being capable of growth at 20 °C or 23 °C with loss of the ability to assimilate succinate or citrate. and endolithic cyano-bacteria could constitute a minimal community in Dry Valley soils.


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