By adamg on Mon, 08/03/2020 - 2:03pm
The Harvard Gazette reports a researcher has discovered a new bacterium on solar panels atop the Arnold Arboretum's Hunnewell Building.
The new species is marked by the presence of colorful carotenoid pigments and an affinity for solar radiation, high temperatures, limited nutrients, and desiccation. That combination may be tough to find in lush New England, but is common on solar panels like those at the Arboretum’s Hunnewell Building, where it was discovered. ...
The bacterium, Sphingomonas solaris, was discovered by Kristie Tanner, a University of Valencia graduate student on a three-month stay in Boston, thanks to a grant from Harvard’s Real Colegio Complutense. Tanner was conducting Ph.D. research, which included sampling and characterizing microbial communities living on solar panels in an array of environments, such as the Arctic, Antarctic, Boston, and her native Spain.