New results: Substrate controls first terrestrial microbes to colonise meteorites!

New results from our lab show that the geochemistry and physical properties of a sterile rock control which microorganisms are able to colonise that rock. In a study led by Alastair Tait, we show that the structure of the microbial community in stony meteorites collected from Australia’s Nullarbor Plain is controlled by the substrate and will not reach homeostasis with the community in Nullarbor soils, even after ~35,000 years. This work shows that meteorites, which are sterile when they fall to Earth and other planets, can be used to test ideas relating to first colonisers.

Read more here (it’s open access): 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01227.

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