Phylogenetic diversity and functional gene patterns of sulfur-oxidizing subseafloor Epsilonproteobacteria in diffuse hydrothermal vent fluids Journal Article


Authors: Akerman, Nancy H.; Butterfield, David A.; Huber, Julie A.
Article Title: Phylogenetic diversity and functional gene patterns of sulfur-oxidizing subseafloor Epsilonproteobacteria in diffuse hydrothermal vent fluids
Abstract: Microorganisms throughout the dark ocean use reduced sulfur compounds for chemolithoautotrophy. In many deep-sea hydrothermal vents, sulfide oxidation is quantitatively the most important chemical energy source for microbial metabolism both at and beneath the seafloor. In this study, the presence and activity of vent endemic Epsilonproteobacteria was examined in six low-temperature diffuse vents over a range of geochemical gradients from Axial Seamount, a deep-sea volcano in the Northeast Pacific. PCR primers were developed and applied to target the sulfur oxidation soxB gene of Epsilonproteobacteria. soxB genes belonging to the genera Sulfurimonas and Sulfurovum are both present and expressed at most diffuse vent sites, but not in background seawater. Although Sulfurovum-like sox8 genes were detected in all fluid samples, the RNA profiles were nearly identical among the vents and suggest that Sulfurirnonas-like species are the primary Epsilonproteobacteria responsible for actively oxidizing sulfur via the Sox pathway at each vent. Community patterns of subseafloor Epsdonproteobactena 16S rRNA genes were best matched to methane concentrations in vent fluids, as well as individual vent locations, indicating that both geochemistry and geographical isolation play a role in structuring subseafloor microbial populations. The data show that in the subseafloor at Axial Seamount, Epsilonproteobacteria are expressing the soxB gene and that microbial patterns in community distribution are linked to both vent location and chemistry.
Keywords: Microbiology; MICROBIAL DIVERSITY; GENOME SEQUENCE; 16S rRNA; COMMUNITY STRUCTURE; DE-FUCA RIDGE; SP-NOV.; SEA-FLOOR; FUNCTIONAL GENES; SUBSEAFLOOR; OKINAWA TROUGH; Epsilonproteobacteria; EPSILON-PROTEOBACTERIA; LOGATCHEV FIELD; sulfur oxidation; hydrothermal vent microbiology; MOLECULAR ANALYSIS
Journal Title: Frontiers in Microbiology
Volume: 4
ISSN: 1664-302X
Publisher: Frontiers Media  
Publication Place: LAUSANNE; PO BOX 110, LAUSANNE, 1015, SWITZERLAND
Date Published: 2013
Start Page: 185
End Page: 185
Language: English
DOI/URL:
Notes: PT: J; NR: 68; TC: 0; J9: FRONT MICROBIOL; PG: 14; GA: AA6ZF; UT: WOS:000331246100002