Raman spectroscopic studies of Antarctic endoliths and epiliths
Antarctica has long been recognised as a putative analogue for Mars' past (1) and any life there is surviving in extreme conditions. Raman spectroscopy has been proved as a suitable method of analysis of lichens, (2) as it does not destroy the sample, can be used in situ and does not require any sample preparation. In this report the progression of life from extreme to very extreme conditions has been investigated. Cyanobacterial mats live on the surface in areas where water is available. As water becomes less available epilithic lichens become the main life form, and as conditions get more extreme the lichens grow as chasmoliths and endoliths.