Friday, 18 March 2016

New microbes thrive deep in the Earth

By sequencing genomes of a newly discovered group of microbes, the Hadesarchaea, an international team of researchers have found out how these microorganisms make a living in the deep subsurface biosphere of our planet. The Hadesarchaea belong to the archaea.

To find the microorganisms, researchers sequenced the genomes of several Hadesarchaea. They were able to determine how these microbes should be classified and what physiologies they use to survive under these extreme conditions. Hadesarchaea have the ability to live in areas devoid of oxygen and the scientists suggest that they are able to survive there by using carbon monoxide to gain energy. Interestingly, the chemical pathways the Hadesarchaea cells use to metabolize carbon monoxide are unique to what has been seen before.

To read more see:

Baker et al (2016) Genomic inference of the metabolism of cosmopolitan subsurface Archaea, Hadesarchaea, Nature Microbiology, DOI: 10.1038/NMICROBIOL.2016.2 

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle