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Stratified prokaryote network in the oxic–anoxic transition of a deep-sea halocline

Daffonchio, Daniele and Borin, Sara and Brusa, Tullio and Brusetti, Lorenzo and van der Wielen, Paul WJJ and Bolhuis, Henk and Yakimov, Michail M and D'Auria, Giuseppe and Giuliano, Laura and Marty, Danielle and Tamburini, Christian and McGenity, Terry J and Hallsworth, John E and Sass, Andrea M and Timmis, Kenneth N and Tselepides, Anastasios and de Lange, Gert J and Hübner, Andreas and Thomson, John and Varnavas, Soterios P and Gasparoni, Francesco and Gerber, Hans W and Malinverno, Elisa and Corselli, Cesare (2006) 'Stratified prokaryote network in the oxic–anoxic transition of a deep-sea halocline.' Nature, 440 (7081). pp. 203-207. ISSN 0028-0836

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The chemical composition of the Bannock basin has been studied in some detail1,2. We recently showed that unusual microbial populations, including a new division of Archaea (MSBL1)3, inhabit the NaCl-rich hypersaline brine. High salinities tend to reduce biodiversity4, but when brines come into contact with fresher water the natural haloclines formed frequently contain gradients of other chemicals, including permutations of electron donors and acceptors, that may enhance microbial diversity, activity and biogeochemical cycling5,6. Here we report a 2.5-m-thick chemocline with a steep NaCl gradient at 3.3 km within the water column betweeen Bannock anoxic hypersaline brine7 and overlying sea water. The chemocline supports some of the most biomass-rich and active microbial communities in the deep sea, dominated by Bacteria rather than Archaea, and including four major new divisions of Bacteria. Significantly higher metabolic activities were measured in the chemocline than in the overlying sea water and underlying brine; functional analyses indicate that a range of biological processes is likely to occur in the chemocline. Many prokaryotic taxa, including the phylogenetically new groups, were confined to defined salinities, and collectively formed a diverse, sharply stratified, deep-sea ecosystem with sufficient biomass to potentially contribute to organic geological deposits. © 2006 Nature Publishing Group.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biodeep Scientific Party; Prokaryotic Cells; Bacteria; Archaea; Oxygen; Water Microbiology; Ecosystem; Biodiversity; Seawater; Aerobiosis; Anaerobiosis; Ships; Molecular Sequence Data; Oceans and Seas
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2015 10:02
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:29

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