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A constant flux of diverse thermophilic bacteria into the cold Arctic seabed
Max-Planck Institute for marine Microbiology. (Biogeochemistry Group)
Department of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna.
Max-Planck Institute for marine Microbiology. (Biogeochemistry Group)
Deparment of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
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2009 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, Vol. 325, no 18, 1541-1544 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Microorganisms have been repeatedly discovered in environments that do not support their metabolic activity. Identifying and quantifying these misplaced organisms can reveal dispersal mechanisms that shape natural microbial diversity. Using endospore germination experiments, we estimated a stable supply of thermophilic bacteria into permanently cold Arctic marine sediment at a rate exceeding 108 spores per square meter per year. These metabolically and phylogenetically diverse Firmicutes show no detectable activity at cold in situ temperatures but rapidly mineralize organic matter by hydrolysis, fermentation, and sulfate reduction upon induction at 50°C. The closest relatives to these bacteria come from warm subsurface petroleum reservoir and ocean crust ecosystems, suggesting that seabed fluid flow from these environments is delivering thermophiles to the cold ocean. These transport pathways may broadly influence microbial community composition in the marine environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington: AAAS , 2009. Vol. 325, no 18, 1541-1544 p.
National Category
Ecology Microbiology
Research subject
Microbiology; Biogeochemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-32700DOI: 10.1126/science.1174012OAI: diva2:281395
Available from: 2009-12-15 Created: 2009-12-15 Last updated: 2012-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Brüchert, Volker
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Department of Geology and Geochemistry
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