AME 13:209-212 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/ame013209

Thermophilic bacterial activity in a deep-sea sediment from the Pacific Ocean

Dobbs FC, Selph KA

Thermophilic bacterial activity was detected in a deep-sea sediment sample from the South Pacific Ocean at 12° S, 135° W, an area of the seafloor distant from known hydrothermal venting. Incubation of sediments amended with 14C-glutamate indicated maximal respiration (evolution of 14CO2) and assimilation (incorporation of 14C into acid-precipitated macromolecules) of substrate at 52°C, relative to 4 and 22°C. A parallel experiment at another site (2° S, 140° W) yielded no evidence of thermophily. Thermophilic bacteria may be deposited in deep-sea sediments following their long-distance dispersal from hydrothermal vents (e.g. the East Pacific Rise and other sites), via either continuous venting or formation of megaplumes.


Deep sea · Thermophilic bacteria · Hydrothermal venting · Dispersal


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