Deep subsurface life in Bengal Fan sediments (IODP Exp. 354)

Online Access: Get full text
Author(s): Adhikari, R. R.; Heuer, V. B.; Elvert, M.; Kallmeyer, J.; Kitte, Jan Axel; Wörmer, L.; Hinrichs, K. U.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
MARUM - University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
GFZ Potsdam, Geomicrobiology, Potsdam, Germany
Volume Title: AGU 2017 fall meeting
Source: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Vol.2017; American Geophysical Union 2017 fall meeting, New Orleans, LA, Dec. 11-15, 2017. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States
Note: In English
Summary: We collected Bengal Fan sediment samples along a 8°N transect during International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 354 (February - March 2015, Singapore - Colombo, Sri Lanka) to study subseafloor life in this, as yet unstudied, area. Among other biogeochemical parameters, we quantified microbial biomass by analyzing prokaryotic cells using epifluorescence microscopy after detaching cells from the sediment, and bacterial endospores by analyzing the diagnostic biomarker dipicolinic acid (DPA) by detection of fluorescence of the terbium-DPA complex. To gain understanding of total microbial activity, we quantified hydrogen utilization potential of hydrogenase enzymes, which are ubiquitous in subsurface microorganisms, by using a tritium assay. We measured highest cell concentrations of ca. 108 cells g-1 in shallow sediments close to the seafloor. These concentrations are one to two orders of magnitude lower than in most marine continental margin settings [1]. Similar to the global trend [1], cell concentrations decreased with depth according to a power-law function. Endospore concentrations scattered between ca. 105 and 107 cells g-1 sediment at all sites and depths. We could not observe a clear relationship of endospore concentration and sediment depth; instead, it appears to be linked to lithology and total organic carbon content. Bulk Hydrogenase enzyme activity ranged from nmolar to µmolar range of H2 g-1d-1. Similar to previous observations [2], per-cell hydrogen utilization depends on vertical biogeochemical zones, which could be due to the differences in hydrogen utilization requirements/efficiency of the respective metabolic processes such as sulfate reduction, methanogenesis, fermentation etc. Bengal fan is highly dynamic due to channel and levee systems and the sediments are dominated by turbidites, thick sand layers and hemipelagic deposits, which may control biogeochemical zonation. Based on our microbial biomass and activity data, we suggest that the nature, quality and origin of sedimentary material influence the deep subsurface life. [1] Kallmeyer et al., (2012) PNAS 109(40), 16213-16216 [2] Adhikari et al., (2016) Frontiers in Microbiology 7:8
Year of Publication: 2017
Research Program: IODP2 International Ocean Discovery Program
Key Words: 07 Marine Geology and Oceanography; Bay of Bengal; Bengal Fan; Ecology; Expedition 354; Indian Ocean; International Ocean Discovery Program; Marine sediments; Sediments
Coordinates: N080023 N080026 E0884432 E0855058
Record ID: 2019008536
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by, and/or abstract, Copyright, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States