Scientists Discover Microbes That Are Able to Thrive in Megafires

Scientists Discover Microbes That Are Able to Thrive in Megafires
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Life on Earth has taken so many shapes and incredible characteristics that it makes you wonder why astronomers keep looking for it on other planets. Earth already has its ‘aliens,’ and there are so many more left to discover here!

ScienceAlert.com reveals that fungi and bacteria were found to thrive due to the Soberanes mega-fire from California that took place in 2016. Surviving the burning was stunning enough – flourishing due to the fire itself seems like straight from the horror movies! Therefore, scientists are eager to find answers to solve the conundrum. 

Restoring forests?

Scientists are now confident that there could be a chance to use the unusual way to survive of the fungi and bacteria in order to come up with restoration ideas for forests. 

Sydney Glassman of the University of California, Riverside, explained:

It’s not likely plants can recover from megafires without beneficial fungi that supply roots with nutrients, or bacteria that transform extra carbon and nitrogen in post-fire soil,

Understanding the microbes is key to any restoration effort.

Oddly enough, the researchers found out that microbes that managed to flourish within the fires are connected genetically. 

Glassman also explained:

They have shared adaptive traits that allow them to respond to fire, and this improves our ability to predict which microbes will respond, either positively or negatively, to events like these.

An extremophile is a term used for organisms that are able to live in extreme environments, meaning under high pressure and temperature. Another amazing fact about extremophiles is that they are ecologically dominant in our planet’s evolutionary history.

The new study was published in Molecular Ecology.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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