Heterotrophic Archaea dominate sedimentary subsurface ecosystems off Peru

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doi: 10.1073/pnas.0600035103
Author(s): Biddle, Jennifer F.; Lipp, Julius S.; Lever, Mark A.; Lloyd, Karen G.; Sorensen, Ketil B.; Anderson, Rika; Fredricks, Helen F.; Elvert, Marcus; Kelly, Timothy J.; Schrag, Daniel P.; Sogin, Mitchell L.; Brenchley, Jean E.; Teske, Andreas; House, Christopher H.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania State Astrobiology Research Center, University Park, PA, United States
Other:
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States
Carleton College, United States
University of Bremen, Federal Republic of Germany
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, United States
Harvard University, United States
Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, United States
Volume Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(10), p.3846-3851. Publisher: National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0027-8424 CODEN: PNASA6
Note: In English. Supplemental information/data is available in the online version of this article. 43 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables, chart
Summary: Studies of deeply buried, sedimentary microbial communities and associated biogeochemical processes during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 201 showed elevated prokaryotic cell numbers in sediment layers where methane is consumed anaerobically at the expense of sulfate. Here, we show that extractable archaeal rRNA, selecting only for active community members in these ecosystems, is dominated by sequences of uncultivated Archaea affiliated with the Marine Benthic Group B and the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, whereas known methanotrophic Archaea are not detectable. Carbon flow reconstructions based on stable isotopic compositions of whole archaeal cells, intact archaeal membrane lipids, and other sedimentary carbon pools indicate that these Archaea assimilate sedimentary organic compounds other than methane even though methanotrophy accounts for a major fraction of carbon cycled in these ecosystems. Oxidation of methane by members of Marine Benthic Group B and the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group without assimilation of methane-carbon provides a plausible explanation. Maintenance energies of these subsurface communities appear to be orders of magnitude lower than minimum values known from laboratory observations, and ecosystem-level carbon budgets suggest that community turnover times are on the order of 100-2,000 years. Our study provides clues about the metabolic functionality of two cosmopolitan groups of uncultured Archaea.
Year of Publication: 2006
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 07 Marine Geology and Oceanography; Aliphatic hydrocarbons; Alkanes; Archaea; Ecology; Ecosystems; Equatorial Pacific; Fatty acids; Heterotrophic taxa; Hydrocarbons; Leg 201; Lipids; Marine sediments; Metabolism; Methane; Microorganisms; Modern; Molecular biology; ODP Site 1227; ODP Site 1229; ODP Site 1230; Ocean Drilling Program; Organic acids; Organic compounds; Pacific Ocean; Peru; Phylogeny; Prokaryotes; RNA; Sediments; South America
Coordinates: S090700 S090700 W0803500 W0803500
S090000 S090000 W0795700 W0795700
S105900 S105900 W0775800 W0775800
Record ID: 2008085512
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