Document Detail

Extending the sub-sea-floor biosphere.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18497290     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sub-sea-floor sediments may contain two-thirds of Earth's total prokaryotic biomass. However, this has its basis in data extrapolation from ~500-meter to 4-kilometer depths, whereas the deepest documented prokaryotes are from only 842 meters. Here, we provide evidence for low concentrations of living prokaryotic cells in the deepest (1626 meters below the sea floor), oldest (111 million years old), and potentially hottest (~100 degrees C) marine sediments investigated. These Newfoundland margin sediments also have DNA sequences related to thermophilic and/or hyperthermophilic Archaea. These form two unique clusters within Pyrococcus and Thermococcus genera, suggesting unknown, uncultured groups are present in deep, hot, marine sediments (~54 degrees to 100 degrees C). Sequences of anaerobic methane-oxidizing Archaea were also present, suggesting a deep biosphere partly supported by methane. These findings demonstrate that the sub-sea-floor biosphere extends to at least 1600 meters below the sea floor and probably deeper, given an upper temperature limit for prokaryotic life of at least 113 degrees C and increasing thermogenic energy supply with depth.
Erwan G Roussel; Marie-Anne Cambon Bonavita; Joël Querellou; Barry A Cragg; Gordon Webster; Daniel Prieur; R John Parkes
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  320     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2008 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-05-23     Completed Date:  2008-06-02     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1046     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratoire de Microbiologie des Environnements Extrêmes, UMR 6197, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Ifremer, Centre de Brest, BP70, 29280 Plouzané, France.
Data Bank Information
Bank Name/Acc. No.:
GENBANK/AM418589;  AM418590;  AM418591;  AM418592;  AM418593;  AM418594;  AM418595;  AM418596;  AM418597;  AM418598;  AM418599;  AM418600;  AM418601;  AM418602;  AM418603;  AM418604
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MeSH Terms
Archaea* / classification,  genetics,  physiology
Atlantic Ocean
Bacteria* / classification,  genetics
Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
Colony Count, Microbial
Genes, rRNA
Geologic Sediments / microbiology*
Molecular Sequence Data
Newfoundland and Labrador
RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
Reg. No./Substance:
0/RNA, Ribosomal, 16S

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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