Microbial CO2 fixation and sulfur cycling associated with low-temperature emissions at the Lilliput hydrothermal field, southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (9°S)

Perner, Mirjam, Seifert, Richard, Weber, Stefan, Koschinsky, Andrea, Schmidt, Katja, Strauss, Harald, Peters, Marc, Haase, Karsten and Imhoff, Johannes F. (2007) Microbial CO2 fixation and sulfur cycling associated with low-temperature emissions at the Lilliput hydrothermal field, southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (9°S) Environmental Microbiology, 9 (5). pp. 1186-1201. DOI 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2007.01241.x.

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Abstract

Lilliput was discovered in 2005 as the southernmost known hydrothermal field along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is exceptional in that it lacks high-temperature venting probably because of a thickened crust. The absence of thermophilic and hyperthermophilic prokaryotes in emissions supports the argument against the presence of a hot subsurface at Lilliput, as is typically suggested for diffuse emissions from areas of high-temperature venting. The high phylogenetic diversity and novelty of bacteria observed could be because of the low-temperature influence, the distinct location of the hydrothermal field or the Bathymodiolus assemblages covering the sites of discharge. The low-temperature fluids at the Lilliput are characterized by lowered pH and slightly elevated hydrogen (16 nM) and methane (∼2.6 μM) contents compared with ambient seawater. No typical hydrogen and methane oxidizing prokaryotes were detected. The higher diversity of reverse tricarboxylic acid genes and the form II RubisCO genes of the Calvin Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle compared with the form I RubisCO genes of the CBB cycle suggests that the chemoautotrophic community is better adapted to low oxygen concentrations. Thiomicrospira spp. and Epsilonproteobacteria dominated the autotrophic community. Sulfide is the most abundant inorganic energy source (0.5 mM). Diverse bacteria were associated with sulfur cycling, including Gamma-, Delta- and Epsilonproteobacteria, with the latter being the most abundant bacteria according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. With members of various Candidate Divisions constituting for 25% of clone library sequences we suggest that their role in vent ecosystems might be more important than previously assumed and propose potential mechanisms they might be involved in at the Lilliput hydrothermal field.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Kiel University
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-MI Marine Microbiology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2007.01241.x
ISSN: 1462-2912
Projects: Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models:
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:51
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2016 08:09
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/3451

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