Tapping the Subsurface Ocean Crust Biosphere: Low Biomass and Drilling-Related Contamination Calls for Improved Quality Controls

Cara M. Santelli, Neil Banerjee, Wolfgang Bach, Katrina J. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microbial communities inhabiting subseafloor ocean crust were analyzed using culture-dependent and -independent techniques of volcanic basement drill-cores from various locations in the Pacific Ocean. Our results suggest that a low-diversity community of bacteria belonging to the Betaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes exists in this rocky habitat. Drilling-related contamination was observed, however, identification of these phylotypes was (and will continue to be) beneficial for distinguishing indigenous from contamination-related communities. Due to difficulties in accessing the subseafloor crustal environment, this study further highlights the necessity for innovative approaches in future drilling-based microbiological studies conducted in ocean crust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-169
Number of pages12
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

Keywords

  • Biogeochemical cycling
  • Biomineralization
  • Deep biosphere
  • Molecular ecology
  • Subsurface microbiology

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