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Fluids from aging ocean crust that support microbial life

Fluids from aging ocean crust that support microbial life
Fluids from aging ocean crust that support microbial life
Little is known about the potential for life in the vast, low-temperature (<100 degrees C) reservoir of fluids within mid-ocean ridge flank and ocean basin crust. Recently, an overpressured 300-meter-deep borehole was fitted with an experimental seal (CORK) delivering crustal fluids to the sea floor for discrete and large-volume sampling and characterization. Results demonstrate that the 65 degrees C fluids from 3.5-million-year-old ocean crust support microbial growth. Ribosomal RNA gene sequence data indicate the presence of diverse Bacteria and Archaea, including gene clones of varying degrees of relatedness to known nitrate reducers (with ammonia production), thermophilic sulfate reducers, and thermophilic fermentative heterotrophs, all consistent with fluid chemistry.
0036-8075
120-123
Cowen, James P.
5986604a-fab2-4269-8bcc-1876ba9cf15f
Giovannoni, Stephen J.
1c506e13-667f-41f5-ae8b-e3cc0202620b
Kenig, Fabien
4e780ba1-8594-4344-b1c4-1c9ab31a09da
Johnson, H. Paul
988cf222-5ad1-4e62-a779-faccdbacdcab
Butterfield, David
b57b8011-aef9-4f54-9be2-f59c4c3c4544
Rappe, Michael S.
31641614-b928-4543-9a5e-3181f311e0dc
Hutnak, Michael
c7cfe427-06d2-4897-850f-16a508004f99
Lam, Phyllis
996aef80-a15d-4827-aed8-1b97b378f6ad
Cowen, James P.
5986604a-fab2-4269-8bcc-1876ba9cf15f
Giovannoni, Stephen J.
1c506e13-667f-41f5-ae8b-e3cc0202620b
Kenig, Fabien
4e780ba1-8594-4344-b1c4-1c9ab31a09da
Johnson, H. Paul
988cf222-5ad1-4e62-a779-faccdbacdcab
Butterfield, David
b57b8011-aef9-4f54-9be2-f59c4c3c4544
Rappe, Michael S.
31641614-b928-4543-9a5e-3181f311e0dc
Hutnak, Michael
c7cfe427-06d2-4897-850f-16a508004f99
Lam, Phyllis
996aef80-a15d-4827-aed8-1b97b378f6ad

Cowen, James P., Giovannoni, Stephen J., Kenig, Fabien, Johnson, H. Paul, Butterfield, David, Rappe, Michael S., Hutnak, Michael and Lam, Phyllis (2003) Fluids from aging ocean crust that support microbial life. Science, 299 (5603), 120-123. (doi:10.1126/science.1075653). (PMID:12511653)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Little is known about the potential for life in the vast, low-temperature (<100 degrees C) reservoir of fluids within mid-ocean ridge flank and ocean basin crust. Recently, an overpressured 300-meter-deep borehole was fitted with an experimental seal (CORK) delivering crustal fluids to the sea floor for discrete and large-volume sampling and characterization. Results demonstrate that the 65 degrees C fluids from 3.5-million-year-old ocean crust support microbial growth. Ribosomal RNA gene sequence data indicate the presence of diverse Bacteria and Archaea, including gene clones of varying degrees of relatedness to known nitrate reducers (with ammonia production), thermophilic sulfate reducers, and thermophilic fermentative heterotrophs, all consistent with fluid chemistry.

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More information

Published date: 3 January 2003
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 350168
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/350168
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: a0911545-a0f6-4664-9e85-6f3e7e0468df
ORCID for Phyllis Lam: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2067-171X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Mar 2013 10:04
Last modified: 10 Jan 2022 03:01

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Contributors

Author: James P. Cowen
Author: Stephen J. Giovannoni
Author: Fabien Kenig
Author: H. Paul Johnson
Author: David Butterfield
Author: Michael S. Rappe
Author: Michael Hutnak
Author: Phyllis Lam ORCID iD

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