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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Kryos Basin is a deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basin (DHAB) located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (34.98°N 22.04°E). It is filled with brine of re-dissolved Messinian evaporites and is nearly saturated with MgCl2-equivalents, which makes this habitat extremely challenging for life. The strong density difference between the anoxic brine and the overlying oxic Mediterranean seawater impedes mixing, giving rise to a narrow chemocline. Here, we investigate the microbial community structure and activities across the seawater–brine interface using a combined biogeochemical, next-generation sequencing, and lipid biomarker approach. Within the interface, we detected fatty acids that were distinctly 13C-enriched when compared to other fatty acids. These likely originated from sulfide-oxidizing bacteria that fix carbon via the reverse tricarboxylic acid cycle. In the lower part of the interface, we also measured elevated rates of methane oxidation, probably mediated by aerobic methanotrophs under micro-oxic conditions. Sulfate reduction rates increased across the interface and were highest within the brine, providing first evidence that sulfate reducers (likely Desulfovermiculus and Desulfobacula) thrive in the Kryos Basin at a water activity of only ~0.4 Aw. Our results demonstrate that a highly specialized microbial community in the Kryos Basin has adapted to the poly-extreme conditions of a DHAB with nearly saturated MgCl2 brine, extending the known environmental range where microbial life can persist.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-01-27
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 112 data points
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-01-12
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 112 data points
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  • 4
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Knittel, Katrin; Boetius, Antje; Lemke, Andreas; Eilers, Heike; Lochte, Karin; Pfannkuche, Olaf; Linke, Peter; Amann, Rudolf (2003): Activity, distribution, and diversity of sulfate reducers and other bacteria in sediments above gas hydrate (Cascadia Margin, Oregon). Geomicrobiology Journal, 20(4), 269-294, https://doi.org/10.1080/01490450303896
    Publication Date: 2019-04-29
    Description: Cold seep environments such as sediments above outcropping hydrate at Hydrate Ridge (Cascadia margin off Oregon) are characterized by methane venting, high sulfide fluxes caused by the anaerobic oxidation of methane, and the presence of chemosynthetic communities. This investigation deals with the diversity and distribution of sulfate-reducing bacteria, some of which are directly involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane as syntrophic partners of the methanotrophic archaea. The composition and activity of the microbial communities at methane vented and nonvented sediments are compared by quantitative methods including total cell counts, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Bacteria involved in the degradation of particulate organic carbon (POC) are as active and diverse as at other productive margin sites of similar water depths. The availability of methane supports a two orders of magnitude higher microbial biomass (up to 9.6×10**10cells/cm**3). Sediment samples were obtained during RV SONNE cruises SO143-2 and SO148-1 at the crest of southern Hydrate Ridge at the Cascadia convergent margin off the coast of Oregon. Sediment cores of 20 - 40 cm length were obtained using a video-guided multiple corer from gas hydrate bearing sediments and from reference sites not enriched in methane in the surface sediments. Samples for total cell counts were obtained from 1 cm core slices, fixed with 2% formaldehyde and stored cold (4°C) and the quantification of aggregates was done via epifluorescence microscopy after staining the sediments with Acridine Orange Direct Counts (AODC) according to the method of Meyer- Reil (1983, doi:10.1007/BF00395813). Total cell counts were defined as the sum of single cells plus the aggregated cells in the syntrophic consortia. DAPI staining was used to measure ANME2/DSS aggregate sizes via epifluorescence microscopy of FISH-treated samples. For FISH, subsamples of sediment cores were sliced into 1 cm intervals and fixed for 2-3 h with 3% formaldehyde (final concentration), washed twice with 1×PBS (10 mM sodium phosphate; 130 mM NaCl), and finally stored in 1×PBS/EtOH (1:1) at -20°C.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 665 data points
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  • 5
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Knittel, Katrin; Lösekann, Tina; Boetius, Antje; Kort, Renate; Amann, Rudolf (2005): Diversity and Distribution of Methanotrophic Archaea at Cold Seeps. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71(1), 467-479, https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.71.1.467-479.2005
    Publication Date: 2018-11-19
    Description: The microbially mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is the major biological sink of the greenhouse gas methane in marine sediments (doi:10.1007/978-94-009-0213-8_44) and serves as an important control for emission of methane into the hydrosphere. The AOM metabolic process is assumed to be a reversal of methanogenesis coupled to the reduction of sulfate to sulfide involving methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) as syntrophic partners which were describes amongst others in Boetius et al. (2000; doi:10.1038/35036572). In this study, 16S rRNA-based methods were used to investigate the distribution and biomass of archaea in samples from sediments above outcropping methane hydrate at Hydrate Ridge (Cascadia margin off Oregon) and (ii) massive microbial mats enclosing carbonate reefs (Crimea area, Black Sea). Sediment samples from Hydrate Ridge were obtained during R/V SONNE cruises SO143-2 in August 1999 and SO148-1 in August 2000 at the crest of southern Hydrate Ridge at the Cascadia convergent margin off the coast of Oregon. The second study area is located in the Black Sea and represents a field in which there is active seepage of free gas on the slope of the northwestern Crimea area. Here, a field of conspicuous microbial reefs forming chimney-like structures was discovered at a water depth of 230 m in anoxic waters. The microbial mats were sampled by using the manned submersible JAGO during the R/V Prof. LOGACHEV cruise in July 2001. At Hydrate Ridge the surface sediments were dominated by aggregates consisting of ANME-2 and members of the Desulfosarcina-Desulfococcus branch (DSS) (ANME-2/DSS aggregates), which accounted for 〉90% of the total cell biomass. The numbers of ANME-1 cells increased strongly with depth; these cells accounted 1% of all single cells at the surface and more than 30% of all single cells (5% of the total cells) in 7- to 10-cm sediment horizons that were directly above layers of gas hydrate. In the Black Sea microbial mats ANME-1 accounted for about 50% of all cells. ANME-2/DSS aggregates occurred in microenvironments within the mat but accounted for only 1% of the total cells. FISH probes for the ANME-2a and ANME-2c subclusters were designed based on a comparative 16S rRNA analysis. In Hydrate Ridge sediments ANME-2a/DSS and ANME-2c/DSS aggregates differed significantly in morphology and abundance. The relative abundance values for these subgroups were remarkably different at Beggiatoa sites (80% ANME-2a, 20% ANME-2c) and Calyptogena sites (20% ANME-2a, 80% ANME-2c), indicating that there was preferential selection of the groups in the two habitats.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: text/tab-separated-values, 156 data points
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2014-09-17
    Description: The methane-emitting cold seeps of Hikurangi margin (New Zealand) are among the few deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere known to date. Here we compared the biogeochemistry and microbial communities of a variety of Hikurangi cold seep ecosystems. These included highly reduced seep habitats dominated by bacterial mats, partially oxidized habitats populated by heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes and deeply oxidized habitats dominated by chemosynthetic frenulate tubeworms. The ampharetid habitats were characterized by a thick oxic sediment layer that hosted a diverse and biomass-rich community of aerobic methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria. These bacteria consumed up to 25% of the emanating methane and clustered within three deep-branching groups named Marine Methylotrophic Group (MMG) 1-3. MMG1 and MMG2 methylotrophs belong to the order Methylococcales, whereas MMG3 methylotrophs are related to the Methylophaga. Organisms of the groups MMG1 and MMG3 are close relatives of chemosynthetic endosymbionts of marine invertebrates. The anoxic sediment layers of all investigated seeps were dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) of the ANME-2 clade and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. Microbial community analysis using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) showed that the different seep habitats hosted distinct microbial communities, which were strongly influenced by the seep-associated fauna and the geographic location. Despite outstanding features of Hikurangi seep communities, the organisms responsible for key ecosystem functions were similar to those found at seeps worldwide. This suggests that similar types of biogeochemical settings select for similar community composition regardless of geographic distance. Because ampharetid polychaetes are widespread at cold seeps the role of aerobic methanotrophy may have been underestimated in seafloor methane budgets.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] Mud volcanism is an important natural source of the greenhouse gas methane to the hydrosphere and atmosphere. Recent investigations show that the number of active submarine mud volcanoes might be much higher than anticipated (for example, see refs 3–5), and that gas emitted ...
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] The short-chain hydrocarbons ethane, propane and butane are constituents of natural gas. They are usually assumed to be of thermochemical origin, but biological formation of ethane and propane has been also observed. Microbial utilization of short-chain hydrocarbons has been shown in some ...
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 9
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Elvert, Marcus; Boetius, Antje; Knittel, Katrin; Jørgensen, Bo Barker (2003): Characterization of specific membrane fatty acids as chemotaxonomic markers for sulfate-reducing bacteria involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane. Geomicrobiology Journal, 20(4), 403-419, https://doi.org/10.1080/01490450303894
    Publication Date: 2019-02-13
    Description: Membrane fatty acids were extracted from a sediment core above marine gas hydrates at Hydrate Ridge, NE Pacific. Anaerobic sediments from this environment are characterized by high sulfate reduction rates driven by the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). The assimilation of methane carbon into bacterial biomass is indicated by carbon isotope values of specific fatty acids as low as -103 per mill. Specific fatty acids released from bacterial membranes include C 16:1 omega 5c , C 17:1 omega 6c , and cyC 17:0 omega 5,6 , all of which have been fully characterized by mass spectrometry. These unusual fatty acids continuously display the lowest d13 C values in all sediment horizons and two of them are detected in high abundance (i.e., C 16:1 omega 5c and cyC 17:0 omega 5,6 ). Combined with microscopic examination by fluorescence in situ hybridization specifically targeting sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus group, which are present in the aggregates of AOM consortia in extremely high numbers, these specific fatty acids appear to provide a phenotypic fingerprint indicative for SRB of this group. Correlating depth profiles of specific fatty acid content and aggregate number in combination with pore water sulfate data provide further evidence of this finding. Using mass balance calculations we present a cell-specific fatty acid pattern most likely displaying a very close resemblance to the still uncultured Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus species involved in AOM.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 2 datasets
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Anaerobic microbial hydrocarbon degradation is a major biogeochemical process at marine seeps. Here we studied the response of the microbial community to petroleum seepage simulated for 190 days in a sediment core from the Caspian Sea using a sediment-oil-flow-through (SOFT) system. Untreated (without simulated petroleum seepage) and SOFT sediment microbial communities shared 43% bacterial genuslevel 16S rRNA-based operational taxonomic units (OTU0:945) but shared only 23% archaeal OTU0:945. The community differed significantly between sediment layers. The detection of fourfold higher deltaproteobacterial cell numbers in SOFT than in untreated sediment at depths characterized by highest sulfate reduction rates and strongest decrease of gaseous and mid-chain alkane concentrations indicated a specific response of hydrocarbon-degrading Deltaproteobacteria. Based on an increase in specific CARD-FISH cell numbers, we suggest the following groups of sulfate-reducing bacteria to be likely responsible for the observed decrease in aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon concentration in SOFT sediments: clade SCA1 for propane and butane degradation, clade LCA2 for mid- to long-chain alkane degradation, clade Cyhx for cycloalkanes, pentane and hexane degradation, and relatives of Desulfobacula for toluene degradation. Highest numbers of archaea of the genus Methanosarcina were found in the methanogenic zone of the SOFT core where we detected preferential degradation of long-chain hydrocarbons. Sequencing of masD, a marker gene for alkane degradation encoding (1-methylalkyl)succinate synthase, revealed a low diversity in SOFT sediment with two abundant species-level MasD OTU0:96.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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