Mineral-association and activity of bacteria and archaea in the deep subsurface South Pacific Gyre sediment

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Author(s): Steele, J. A.; Dekas, A.; Harrison, B. K.; Morono, Y.; Inagaki, F.; Ziebis, W.; Orphan, V. J.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
California Institute of Technology, Geological and Planetary Sciences, Pasadena, CA, United States
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research, Kochi, Japan
University of Southern California, Department of Biology, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Volume Title: AGU 2012 fall meeting
Source: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Vol.2012; American Geophysical Union 2012 fall meeting, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 3-7, 2012. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States
Note: In English
Summary: Although the subsurface biosphere is now recognized as an important reservoir of life on our planet, until recently the microbial community beneath open-ocean oligotrophic gyres (making up the majority of the seafloor) has just begun to be studied in detail. IODP Expedition 329 and the KNOX-022RR site survey cruise have taken some of the first steps at characterizing the microbial community beneath the South Pacific Gyre, a region with low organic carbon burial rates (10-8 and 10-10 moles C cm-1 yr-1), deep oxygen penetration (sediments are oxidized to the basement), and low prokaryotic cell counts (106 cells cm-3 to <103 cells cm-3). In these sediments, the dominant fraction of organic carbon may be aggregated or adsorbed to minerals, suggesting that microbes that are able to grow on the minerals may create potential "hotspots" of activity. In this study, we performed magnetic separation on oligotrophic sediment samples and examined the bacterial and archaeal communities using 16S rRNA tag sequencing. To determine if the mineral-associated cells were autotrophic and/or utilizing nitrate, we performed long-term (20 month) incubations with 13CO2 and 15NO3- from sediment taken at depths ≈2-70 mbsf beneath the oligotrophic gyre and outside of the oligotrophic gyre (IODP Exp. 329 stations U1368-U1371). Subsequently we used the DNA stain SYBR Green I, and CARD-FISH-NanoSIMS to identify cells which were actively taking up the isotopic label. We then used SEM-EDS to identify the mineral particle composition. Preliminary results found the magnetic fraction in oligotrophic sediment (KNOX-022RR station SPG-5) from 1.2-2.6 mbsf showed a greater diversity of both bacteria and archaea. OTUs from Chloroflexi groups SO85 and SAR202 were dominant in the magnetic fraction. Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, δ-Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Deferribacteres, WS3, OP10, and OP1 OTUs were found only in the magnetic fraction. Crenarchaeal OTUs from Marine Benthic Group B and Marine Group I (Thaumarchaea) and Euryarchaeal OTUs from Methanomicrobia and Thermococcus groups were found in the magnetic fraction with Marine Group I Crenarchaea showing the highest archaeal abundance. The higher diversity in the magnetic fraction suggests that bacteria and archaea associated with Fe-rich or Mn-rich minerals may be able to exploit a wider array of niches. Comparing sediment from within and outside the gyre, the more productive sediments had greater total cell numbers; however, we observed an increase in attached cells in the relatively Fe and P-rich samples (the heavy fraction) in the oligotrophic sediments (IODP Exp. 329 station U1368 and KNOX-022RR station SPG-6), suggesting a possible preference for attachment to Fe and P-rich particles.
Year of Publication: 2012
Research Program: IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 22 Environmental Geology; Bacteria; Carbon; Carbon cycle; East Pacific; Expedition 329; Geochemical cycle; IODP Site U1368; IODP Site U1369; IODP Site U1370; IODP Site U1371; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Marine sediments; Organic carbon; Pacific Ocean; Sediments; South Pacific; South Pacific Gyre; Southeast Pacific
Coordinates: S455751 S455751 W1631103 W1631103
S391837 S391837 W1394803 W1394803
S275500 S275500 W1230939 W1230939
Record ID: 2014092658
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