Saturday 28 September 2013

Microorganisms in the 'dark ocean'

Microorganisms that live in the so-called "dark ocean", below a depth of some 600 feet where light does not penetrate, acquire their energy from carbon fixation. That is one of the findings of a paper published in the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME) Journal.

In the dark ocean, carbon fixation can occur with reduced chemical energy sources such as sulfur, methane, and ferrous iron. Indeed sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms are often dominant in hydrothermal vent plumes, where they convert carbon dioxide to biomass.

For further details, refer to the following paper:

Timothy E Mattes, Brook L Nunn, Katharine T Marshall, Giora Proskurowski, Deborah S Kelley, Orest E Kawka, David R Goodlett, Dennis A Hansell, Robert M Morris. Sulfur oxidizers dominate carbon fixation at a biogeochemical hot spot in the dark ocean. The ISME Journal, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2013.113

Posted by Tim Sandle

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