Document Detail


A habitat for psychrophiles in deep Antarctic ice.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10655516     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Microbes, some of which may be viable, have been found in ice cores drilled at Vostok Station at depths down to approximately 3,600 m, close to the surface of the huge subglacial Lake Vostok. Two types of ice have been found. The upper 3,500 m comprises glacial ice containing traces of nutrients of aeolian origin including sulfuric acid, nitric acid, methanosulfonic acid (MSA), formic acid, sea salts, and mineral grains. Ice below approximately 3,500 m comprises refrozen water from Lake Vostok, accreted to the bottom of the glacial ice. Nutrients in the accretion ice include salts and dissolved organic carbon. There is great interest in searching for living microbes and especially for new species in deepest Antarctic ice. I propose a habitat consisting of interconnected liquid veins along three-grain boundaries in ice in which psychrophilic bacteria can move and obtain energy and carbon from ions in solution. In the accretion ice, with an age of a few 10(4) years and a temperature a few degrees below freezing, the carbon and energy sources in the veins can maintain significant numbers of cells per cubic centimeter that are metabolizing but not multiplying. In the 4 x 10(5)-year-old colder glacial ice, at least 1 cell per cm(3) in acid veins can be maintained. With fluorescence microscopy tuned to detect NADH in live organisms, motile bacteria could be detected by direct scanning of the veins in ice samples.
Authors:
P B Price
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  97     ISSN:  0027-8424     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2000 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-03-02     Completed Date:  2000-03-02     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1247-51     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Physics Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Antarctic Regions
Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
Carbon / metabolism
Cold Temperature
Energy Metabolism
Geology / methods
Ice*
Ions
Models, Biological
Nitric Acid / metabolism
Soil Microbiology*
Specimen Handling
Sulfuric Acids / metabolism
Water Microbiology*
Chemical
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Ice; 0/Ions; 0/Sulfuric Acids; 7440-44-0/Carbon; 7664-93-9/sulfuric acid; 7697-37-2/Nitric Acid
Comments/Corrections

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