Tectonic splitting of the Arabian and African plates originated the Red Sea together with one of the most unique, remote, and extreme environments on earth: deep-sea anoxic brine lakes. They combine multiple extremes namely increased salinity (7-fold), temperature (up to 70°C), concentration of heavy metals (1,000- to 10,000-fold), and hydrostatic pressure. Despite such harsh conditions, they harbour an unexpectedly high biodiversity and are teeming with life. Increased interest in their microbiology led to multiple recent and on-going studies. Highlights of this research include: the isolation, physiological characterization and genome sequencing of unusual new extremophilic microbes; the identification of several novel phylogenetic lineages; and on-going cultivation- and molecular-based assessment of microbial community variation between and within different brines. The uniqueness of these environments offers a high potential for discovery of new microbes, strategies and biomolecules to cope with extreme conditions, and biotechnological applications.
|Title of host publication||Human Interaction with the Environment in the Red Sea|
|Editors||Dionysius Agius, Emad Khali, Eleanor Scerri, Alun Williams|
|Place of Publication||Leiden|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Feb 2017|
Antunes, A. (2017). Extreme Red Sea: Life in the Deep-Sea Anoxic Brine Lakes. In D. Agius, E. Khali, E. Scerri, & A. Williams (Eds.), Human Interaction with the Environment in the Red Sea (pp. 30-47). Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004330825_004