Long-Term Sustainability of a High-Energy, Low-Diversity Crustal Biome

  title={Long-Term Sustainability of a High-Energy, Low-Diversity Crustal Biome},
  author={Li‐Hung Lin and Pei-Ling Wang and Douglas Iii Rumble and Johanna Lippmann-Pipke and Erik Boice and Lisa M. Pratt and Barbara Sherwood Lollar and Eoin L. Brodie and Terry C. Hazen and Gary L. Andersen and Todd Z. DeSantis and Duane P. Moser and Dave Kershaw and Tullis C. Onstott},
  pages={479 - 482}
Geochemical, microbiological, and molecular analyses of alkaline saline groundwater at 2.8 kilometers depth in Archaean metabasalt revealed a microbial biome dominated by a single phylotype affiliated with thermophilic sulfate reducers belonging to Firmicutes. These sulfate reducers were sustained by geologically produced sulfate and hydrogen at concentrations sufficient to maintain activities for millions of years with no apparent reliance on photosynthetically derived substrates. 

Taxonomically and functionally diverse microbial communities in deep crystalline rocks of the Fennoscandian shield

The results show that predominant geological and hydrogeochemical conditions, including the existence and connectivity of fracture systems and the low amounts of available energy, have a key role in controlling microbial ecology and evolution in the nutrient and energy-poor deep crustal biosphere.

Ophel: a groundwater biome based on chemoautotrophic resources. The global significance of the Ayyalon cave finds, Israel

  • F. Por
  • Biology
  • 2007
The discovery of a deep, secluded subterranean ecosystem, supported by chemosynthetis producing by sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, suggests the existence of a new biome, “Ophel”, with an autonomous energy basis, which could provide an ecological and historical basis for explaining the high taxonomic diversity of subterranean faunas.

Geochemistry: Subsurface sustenance

High-temperature water–rock reactions produce large quantities of hydrogen, which must be transported to cooler settings to sustain life. Lower-temperature hydrogen generation could potentially

Geomicrobiology of the ocean crust : the phylogenetic diversity, abundance, and distribution of microbial communities inhabiting basalt and implications for rock alteration processes

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution June 2007

Microbial Physiology in Deep Biosphere of the Earth

  • K. Takai
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 2010
The physiological properties of the microorganisms that have been cultivated from various subsurface environments are overviewed and phenotypic and physiological diversity of these microorganisms has remained poorly understood.

Tapping the Subsurface Ocean Crust Biosphere: Low Biomass and Drilling-Related Contamination Calls for Improved Quality Controls

Microbial communities inhabiting subseafloor ocean crust were analyzed using culture-dependent and -independent techniques of volcanic basement drill-cores from various locations in the Pacific

Environmental Genomics Reveals a Single-Species Ecosystem Deep Within Earth

DNA from low-biodiversity fracture water collected at 2.8-kilometer depth in a South African gold mine was sequenced and assembled into a single, complete genome that indicates a motile, sporulating, sulfate-reducing, chemoautotrophic thermophile that can fix its own nitrogen and carbon by using machinery shared with archaea.

High-temperature deep-subsurface microbial communities as a possible equivalent of ancient ecosystems

Microbiological, molecular biological, and radioisotopic studies suggest that active and complex microbial communities exist in the deep layers of the subsurface biosphere. This review discusses only

Microbial Life in Extreme Environments: Linking Geological and Microbiological Processes

The last decade has seen extraordinary growth of Geomicrobiology, the interdisciplinary field between Geology and Microbiology. Microorganisms have been studied in numerous extreme environments on

In Situ Growth of Halophilic Bacteria in Saline Fracture Fluids from 2.4 km below Surface in the Deep Canadian Shield

This work demonstrates that anaerobic bacteria and known halophilic taxa are present and viable in the fracture waters presently outflowing from existing boreholes, and complements ongoing efforts to describe the microbial diversity in fracture waters at Kidd Creek in order to better understand the processes shaping life in the deep terrestrial subsurface.



Distributions of Microbial Activities in Deep Subseafloor Sediments

Diverse microbial communities and numerous energy-yielding activities occur in deeply buried sediments of the eastern Pacific Ocean and these sedimentary communities may supply dissolved electron donors and nutrients to the underlying crustal biosphere.

The microbiology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents

  • D. Karl
  • Geology, Environmental Science
  • 1995
Geologic setting and chemistry of deep-sea hydrothermal vents ecology of free living, hydrothermal vent microbial communities chemoautotrophic and methanotrophic endosymbiotic bacteria at deep-sea

Lithoautotrophic Microbial Ecosystems in Deep Basalt Aquifers

Bacterial communities were detected in deep crystalline rock aquifers within the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRB). CRB ground waters contained up to 60 μM dissolved H2 and autotrophic microorganisms

Radiolytic H2 in continental crust: Nuclear power for deep subsurface microbial communities

H2 is probably the most important substrate for terrestrial subsurface lithoautotrophic microbial communities. Abiotic H2 generation is an essential component of subsurface ecosystems truly

A hydrogen-based subsurface microbial community dominated by methanogens

This work describes a unique subsurface microbial community in which hydrogen-consuming, methane-producing Archaea far outnumber the Bacteria and demonstrates that hydrogen-based methanogenic communities do occur in Earth's subsurfaces, providing an analogue for possible subsurfaced microbial ecosystems on other planets.

Isolation of sulfate-reducing bacteria from the terrestrial deep subsurface and description of Desulfovibrio cavernae sp. nov.

Deep subsurface sandstones in the area of Berlin (Germany) located 600 to 1060 m below the surface were examined for the presence of viable microorganisms, finding sulfate-reducing bacteria able to grow on methanol and triethylene glycol, which are added as chemicals to facilitate the long-term underground storage of natural gas.

Hyperthermophilic archaea are thriving in deep North Sea and Alaskan oil reservoirs

HOT springs and hydrothermal vents harbour hyperthermophilic archaea and bacteria with the highest growth temperatures known1–6. Here we report the discovery of high concentrations of

Fluids from Aging Ocean Crust That Support Microbial Life

Results demonstrate that the 65°C fluids from 3.5-million-year-old ocean crust support microbial growth and Ribosomal RNA gene sequence data indicate the presence of diverse Bacteria and Archaea, all consistent with fluid chemistry.

The Influence of Microbial Activity and Sedimentary Organic Carbon on the Isotope Geochemistry of the Middendorf Aquifer

Microorganisms present in deep Atlantic coastal plain sediments affect the geochemical evolution of groundwater and its chemical and isotopic composition, yet the factors controlling their origin,

Deep sub-seafloor prokaryotes stimulated at interfaces over geological time

Results show that deep sedimentary prokaryotes can have high activity, have changing diversity associated with interfaces and are active over geological timescales.