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Study

Study Name: Deep subsurface and oceanic microbial communities from Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa, and the Canadian and Fennoscandian shields and at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field

Projects

Biosamples

Organisms

Biosamples: 3 Seq. Projects: 5
STUDY INFORMATION
GOLD Study ID Gs0090290
Study Name Deep subsurface and oceanic microbial communities from Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa, and the Canadian and Fennoscandian shields and at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field
Other Names Enigmatic life underneath us: genomic analysis of deep subsurface microorganisms
NCBI Umbrella Bioproject Name Aging mid-ocean ridge flanks support a distinct microbial ecosystem
NCBI Umbrella Bioproject Accession PRJNA266365
SRA Studies
SRA Study Id SRP049601  (Link to NCBI )
Study Title Aging mid-ocean ridge flanks support a distinct microbial ecosystem
Study Abstract
  
SRA Study Id SRP105501  (Link to NCBI )
Study Title Deep oceanic, basalt-hosted subsurface hydrothermal fluid ecosystem from Juan de Fuca Ridge flank, Pacific Ocean - Targeted metavirome JFR_U1362B AD-236_2 metagenome
Study Abstract
  
SRA Study Id SRP105503  (Link to NCBI )
Study Title Deep oceanic, basalt-hosted subsurface hydrothermal fluid ecosystem from Juan de Fuca Ridge flank, Pacific Ocean - Targeted metavirome JFR_U1362B AD-236_1 metagenome
Study Abstract
  
Legacy ER Study ID 45290
Legacy GOLD ID Gm0045290
Added By Ionna Pagani on 2013-04-04
Last Modified By Jon Bertsch on 2020-07-26
PI Ramunas Stepanauskas
Description The research of subsurface microorganisms, still in its infancy, suggests that they constitute a major fraction of the living biomass on our planet and play significant roles in the global carbon cycle. Deep subsurface biosphere differs from the surface photosphere in that the energy flux is more limiting and that cell turnover times may be on the order of 102 to 103 years. Assuming that CO2 is the sole remaining electron acceptor, the C flow in deep subsurface communities is believed to be regulated by autotrophs that in turn sustain heterotrophs or subsurface lithotrophic microbial ecosystems. Analyses of the microbial composition and geochemistry of fracture fluids from sulfide-bearing strata of the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa, however, have revealed that the deep continental subsurface is not energy poor and that radiolytic reactions can generate alternative electron acceptors, such as SO42- and electron donors, such as H2 and formate. Metagenome analyses have revealed that the dominant planktonic species, Desulforudis audaxviator, is a generalist and does not possess a streamlined genome. C and H isotopic analyses also indicate abundant dissolved hydrocarbons are present in the fracture fluids that were formed by an abiogenic, Fischer-Tropsch-like process and that it is mixed with biogenic CH4 at shallower depths. These short chain abiogenic hydrocarbons have also been detected in deeply situated fractures in the Canadian and Fennoscandian shields and at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field. Since anaerobic biodegradation of hydrocarbons is known to take place in oil reservoirs, the presence of these hydrocarbons raises the possibility that they may sustain a heterotrophic/syntrophic/autotrophic assemblage similar to that hypothesized for petroleum reservoirs. Since abiogenic hydrocarbons would have been formed in the earliest Archean rocks such microbial consortia may have evolved early in life?s history.

A better understanding of carbon cycling by microbial life in the deep biosphere is essential because it may represent a much larger active biomass than previously recognized. For example, the microbial cell concentrations in fracture fluid for the Witwatersrand Basin exhibit only a slight decline in concentration with increasing depth up to 3.3 km and do not exhibit the exponential decrease in cell concentrations seen in subseafloor sediments. Deep subsurface may also offer novel, valuable insights into prokaryote evolutionary processes. Subsurface microorganisms inhabit particularly stable, energy-poor environments and often have average generation times ranging from hundreds to thousands of years, which may result in some evolutionary processes to differ significantly from the existing model systems. Thus, deep subsurface fractures can serve as natural, long-term experiments of microbial evolution within well-defined temporal and spatial boundaries and tractable biological complexity (?Galapagos? of the microbial world).
Relevance
Study Information Visibility Public
Metagenomic Study Yes
Publication
Is GEBA No
Is HMP No
ECOSYSTEM CLASSIFICATION
Ecosystem Environmental
Ecosystem Category Terrestrial
Ecosystem Type Deep subsurface
Ecosystem Subtype Unclassified
Specific Ecosystem Unclassified
Ecosystem Path ID 4245
STUDY COMPOSITION
Number of Biosamples 3
Number of Organisms 0
Number of Seq Projects 5
Number of Analysis Projects 105
Number of Related Studies 0

 

 

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