Susan Pfiffner

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A novel extreme alkaliphile was isolated from a mine water containment dam at 3.2 km below land surface in an ultra-deep gold mine near Carletonville, South Africa. The cells of this bacterium were straight to slightly curved rods, motile by flagella and formed endospores. Growth was observed over the temperature range 20-50 degrees C (optimum 40 degrees C;(More)
Rock, air and service water samples were collected for microbial analyses from 3.2 kilometres depth in a working Au mine in the Witwatersrand basin, South Africa. The approximately metre-wide mined zone was comprised of a carbonaceous, quartz, sulphide, uraninite and Au bearing layer, called the Carbon Leader, sandwiched by quartzite and conglomerate. The(More)
Geochemical and biological estimates of in situ microbial activities were compared from the aerobic and microaerophilic sediments of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Radioisotope time-course experiments suggested oxidation rates greater than millimolar quantities per year for acetate and glucose. Geochemical analyses assessing oxygen consumption, soluble organic(More)
We report the first investigation of a deep subpermafrost microbial ecosystem, a terrestrial analog for the Martian subsurface. Our multidisciplinary team analyzed fracture water collected at 890 and 1,130 m depths beneath a 540-m-thick permafrost layer at the Lupin Au mine (Nunavut, Canada). 14C, 3H, and noble gas isotope analyses suggest that the(More)
A field-scale acetate amendment experiment was performed in a contaminated aquifer at Old Rifle, CO to stimulate in situ microbial reduction of U(VI) in groundwater. To evaluate the microorganisms responsible for microbial uranium reduction during the experiment, 13C-labeled acetate was introduced into well bores via bio-traps containing porous activated(More)
Twenty-six subsurface samples were collected from a borehole at depths of 173.3 to 196.8 m in the saturated zone at the Hanford Site in south-central Washington State. The sampling was performed throughout strata that included fine-grained lacustrine (lake) sediments, a paleosol (buried soil) sequence, and coarse-grained fluvial (river) sediments. A(More)
Over 200 bacterial strains were selected for anaerobic growth at 50 degrees C and extracellular polysaccharide production in a sucrose-mineral salts medium with NaNO(3) and up to 10% NaCl. The predominant cell type was an encapsulated gram-positive, motile, facultative sporeforming rod similar to Bacillus species. Strain SP018 grew and produced the(More)
The total community genomic DNA (gDNA) from permafrost was extracted using four commercial DNA extraction kits. The gDNAs were compared using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) targeting 16S rRNA genes and bacterial diversity analyses obtained via 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA (V3 region) amplified in single or nested PCR. The FastDNA(®) SPIN (FDS) Kit(More)
Alkaline, sulfidic, 54 to 60 degrees C, 4 to 53 million-year-old meteoric water emanating from a borehole intersecting quartzite-hosted fractures >3.3 km beneath the surface supported a microbial community dominated by a bacterial species affiliated with Desulfotomaculum spp. and an archaeal species related to Methanobacterium spp. The geochemical(More)
The abundance and metabolic capacities of microorganisms residing in 49 sediment samples from 4 boreholes in Atlantic Coastal Plain sediments were examined. Radiolabeled time-course experiments assessing in situ mirobial capacities were initiated within 30 min of core recovery. Acetate (1-14C- and3H-) incorporation into lipids, microbial colony forming(More)