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Novel archaea found in geothermal microbial mats

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Our oldest national park may hold answers to questions about the activities of microbial communities that, in turn, may help in developing bioenergy technologies or safely storing carbon dioxide. Detailed analyses of metagenome assemblies have revealed a new archaeal phylum in microbial mats from Yellowstone National Park (YNP) hot springs.

"Previous studies of acidic ferric ion mats from Yellowstone had shown a remarkable diversity of uncultivated, undescribed archaea," said Dr. Bill Inskeep, Montana State University, corresponding author on the current study, which appears in The ISME Journal. "One of our goals was to identify and describe novel thermophilic—requiring high temperature—archaea inhabiting acidic iron-oxide microbial mats in YNP."

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