Evidence for Microbial Carbon and Sulfur Cycling in Deeply Buried Ridge Flank Basalt.

Lever, M. A., Rouxel, O., Alt, J. C., Shimizu, N., Ono, S., Coggon, R. M., Shanks, W. C., Lapham, L., Elvert, M., Prieto-Mollar, X., Hinrichs, K.-U., Inagaki, F. and Teske, A. (2013) Evidence for Microbial Carbon and Sulfur Cycling in Deeply Buried Ridge Flank Basalt. Science, 339 (6125). pp. 1305-1308. DOI 10.1126/science.1229240.

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Abstract

Sediment-covered basalt on the flanks of mid-ocean ridges constitutes most of Earth’s oceanic crust, but the composition and metabolic function of its microbial ecosystem are largely unknown. By drilling into 3.5-million-year-old subseafloor basalt, we demonstrated the presence of methane- and sulfur-cycling microbes on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Depth horizons with functional genes indicative of methane-cycling and sulfate-reducing microorganisms are enriched in solid-phase sulfur and total organic carbon, host d13C- and d34S-isotopic values with a biological imprint, and show clear signs of microbial activity when incubated in the laboratory. Downcore changes in carbon and sulfur cycling show discrete
geochemical intervals with chemoautotrophic d13C signatures locally attenuated by heterotrophic metabolism.

Document Type: Article
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1126/science.1229240
ISSN: 0036-8075
Projects: FLOWS
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2014 12:46
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2014 12:46
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/23761

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