Mono Lake represents an extreme
environment that is likely to harbor unique microbes. However, relatively
little is known about the types of microorganisms dwelling in Mono
Lake, their phylogenetic diversity, taxonomy, ecology or ecophysiology.
For example, recent phylogenetic analysis of an important phytoplankter
demonstrates it to be a new Class of algae with unusual physiological
properties and biochemical composition. While abundant bacterial
populations and the existence of pronounced bacterial plates have
been noted before in Mono Lake, the temporal and spatial variation
in diversity of the bacterial community has only recently begun
to be investigated.