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dc.contributor.advisorBlank, Jennifer
dc.contributor.advisorGreen, Stefan
dc.contributor.advisorTurk, Kendra
dc.contributor.authorBrinley, Alaina
dc.descriptionv, 33 p.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe exploration of ophiolites,as an analog to Martian environments,may be useful in devising a search strategy for life on Mars. Oceanic settings, dominated by mafic and ultramafic rocks interacting with seawater and other fluids, are thought to be similar to early Earth and Martian environments. Ophiolite suites, sections of oceanic crust that have been emplaced onto continental crust, allow ready access to these terranes. Today, these ophiolite suites are permeated with cracks and veining through which fluids have flowed in a previous geologic period. Spring waters emanating from these modem ophiolites reflect a mixture of meteoric water and the host-rock chemistry. Martian soil has a composition similar to ophiolite suites because of its high iron content and, in some areas, an abundance of the mineral olivine. We are particularly interested in chemosynthetic species in the community, because photosynthesis in subterranean habitats is highly unlikely. To characterize the microbiological communities in the ophiolite environment, water and microbial mat samples were collected from surface and subterranean environments in Del Puerto Canyon, California. It is thought that presentday Martian microbes, if they exist, will likely be subterranean due to the lack of water at the planet's surface. The microbial constituents of these materials were analyzed using PCR amplification, DGGE analysis, and DNA sequencing. We detected bacterial DNA in all environments analyzed; however, archaeal DNA was not found in any of the environments. Cyanobacterial DNA was present in the microbial mat samples tested. Our data indicates there could be bacterial life present in a similar environment on Mars.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipAmes Research Center. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Moffett Field, California.
dc.publisherKalamazoo Collegeen_US
dc.relation.ispartofKalamazoo College Biology Senior Individualized Projects Collection
dc.relation.ispartofseriesSenior Individualized Projects. Biology;
dc.rightsU.S. copyright laws protect this material. Commercial use or distribution of this material is not permitted without prior written permission of the copyright holder.
dc.titleEvaluation of Microbial Diversity in Ophiolite-Hosted Cold Springs as an Analog to Martian Environmentsen_US
KCollege.Access.ContactIf you are not a current Kalamazoo College student, faculty, or staff member, email to request access to this thesis.

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  • Biology Senior Individualized Projects [1489]
    This collection includes Senior Individualized Projects (SIP's) completed in the Biology Department. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff.

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