Wintertime Sea Ice Bacteria

By developing new microscopy and imaging techniques that allowed for the investigation of sea-ice bacteria within ice without melting it, Karen Junge demonstrated in her PhD research (in collaboration with Jody Deming and Hajo Eicken) that surface associations to ice walls or particles within sea ice are essential for maintenance of activity to –20°C and that psychrophilic bacteria can still be motile to temperatures as low as –10°C moving at similar speeds as Escherichia coli at 37°C.

Funding source: NSF, NAI (NASA Astrobiology Institute) through the University of Washington Astrobiology Program.