Crystal Geyser - more than just bottled water
Monday, 24. April 2017
09.00 – 10.30
Helgad Fischer, Math. - Nat. Sektion
Dr. Alexander Probst, University of California
An enormous diversity of previously unknown bacteria and archaea has been discovered recently, yet their functional capacities and distributions in the terrestrial subsurface remain uncertain. In a terabase sequencing project, we reconstructed thousands of microbial genomes from subsurface fluids discharged by the cold, CO2-driven Crystal Geyser (Utah, US), which taps into several superimposed aquifers. The genomic diversity of archaea and bacteria spanned 104 different phyla, including a novel archaeon that has the capacity to fix carbon via a novel enzymatic cascade. We coupled detailed, time-resolved geochemical measurements to metagenomics and single cell genomics to assign microorganisms to their source regions. We provide evidence for a depth-dependent stratification of microbial communities and metabolic functions along a continental crust transect with novel archaeal and bacterial symbionts sourced from the deep subsurface.