Endolithic Blue-Green Algae in the Dry Valleys: Primary Producers in the Antarctic Desert Ecosystem

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Science  24 Sep 1976:
Vol. 193, Issue 4259, pp. 1247-1249
DOI: 10.1126/science.193.4259.1247


Endolithic unicellular blue-green algae occur under the surface of orthoquartzite rocks in the dry valleys of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. This report of primary producers in the Antarctic desert ecosystem suggests that, in future efforts to detect life in extraterrestrial (for example, martian) environments, scientists should consider the possible existence of endolithic life forms.