Sunday, 25 January 2015

Deep sea oil reservoirs contain social bacteria

New research, led by scientists at Dartmouth College and University of Oslo, has shown that microbes living in the ‘deep biosphere’ – the sediment found far beneath the ocean floor – have been swapping genes for aeons. The work, published in the ISME Journal, compared heat-loving bacteria living in two environments: subsurface oil reservoirs and near hot water vents on the ocean floor. By studying the DNA from the two sample groups, the researchers showed that genes found within microbes living in the subterranean oil were also found on the ocean floor group, suggesting that bacteria have moved between the two. As yet, the mechanisms behind this ‘gene flow’ are unknown.

See: ISME Journal


Posted by Tim Sandle

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