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Polar inhabitant

Fotolab_FungoAzul3The blue fungus appeared on the culture plate in the laboratory aboard the Brazilian Navy’s polar research vessel Almirante Maximiano while still in Antarctic waters.  “Even researchers working in the region for many years have never seen a fungus this color,” says biologist Graciéle Alves de Menezes, who, under the orientation of Luiz Henrique Rosa of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, is pursuing a doctorate by studying the microorganisms that live in the ice and snow of Antarctica, as part of the MycoAntar project.  “We do not yet know what species it is, why it is this color or whether it has any antifreeze property.” Menezes hopes to have news soon, when she receives the results of the DNA analyses conducted on the organisms cultivated or filtered from melted snow.

Image by Graciéle Alves de Menezes submitted by Luiza Carvalho, responsible for communications regarding the MycoAntar project