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The Atacama Desert: Technical Resources and the Growing Importance of Novel Microbial Diversity
Annual Review of Microbiology
The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the oldest and most arid nonpolar environment on Earth. It is a coastal desert covering approximately 180,000 km 2 , and together with the greater Atacama region it comprises a dramatically wide range of ecological niches. Long known and exploited for its mineral resources, the Atacama Desert harbors a rich microbial diversity that has only recently been discovered; the great majority of it has not yet been recovered in culture or even taxonomicallydoi:10.1146/annurev-micro-102215-095236 pmid:27607552 fatcat:jkqezj2clrhspkyqtjytqfndpi