Department of Biology

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Bo Barker Jørgensen

Thriving or Surviving? Evaluating active microbial guilds in Baltic Sea sediment

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

DOI

  • Laura A Zinke, Department of Life Sciences, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA.
  • ,
  • Megan M Mullis, Department of Life Sciences, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA.
  • ,
  • Jordan T Bird, Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA.
  • ,
  • Ian P G Marshall
  • Bo Barker Jørgensen
  • Karen G Lloyd, Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA.
  • ,
  • Jan P Amend, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.
  • ,
  • Brandi Kiel Reese, Department of Life Sciences, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA.

Microbial life in the deep subsurface biosphere is taxonomically and metabolically diverse, but it is vigorously debated whether the resident organisms are thriving (metabolizing, maintaining cellular integrity, and expressing division genes) or just surviving. As part of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 347: Baltic Sea Paleoenvironment, we extracted and sequenced RNA from organic carbon-rich, nutrient-replete, and permanently anoxic sediment. In stark contrast to the oligotrophic subsurface biosphere, Baltic Sea Basin samples provided a unique opportunity to understand the balance between metabolism and other cellular processes. Targeted sequencing of 16S rRNA transcripts showed Atribacteria (an uncultured phylum) and Chloroflexi to be among the dominant and the active members of the community. Metatranscriptomic analysis identified methane cycling, sulfur cycling, and halogenated compound utilization as active in situ respiratory metabolisms. Genes for cellular maintenance, cellular division, motility, and antimicrobial production were also transcribed. This indicates that microbial life in deep subsurface Baltic Sea Basin sediments was not only alive, but thriving. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology Reports
Volume9
Issue5
ISSN1758-2229
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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ID: 116461045