Analysis of Low-Biomass Microbial Communities in the Deep Biosphere Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/2110-1030-2279-7924-CC

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2016


  • Over the past few decades, the subseafloor biosphere has been explored by scientific ocean drilling to depths of about 2.5 km below the seafloor. Although organic-rich anaerobic sedimentary habitats in the ocean margins harbor large numbers of microbial cells, microbial populations in ultraoligotrophic aerobic sedimentary habitats in the open ocean gyres are several orders of magnitude less abundant. Despite advances in cultivation-independent molecular ecological techniques, exploring the low-biomass environment remains technologically challenging, especially in the deep subseafloor biosphere. Reviewing the historical background of deep-biosphere analytical methods, the importance of obtaining clean samples and tracing contamination, as well as methods for detecting microbial life, technological aspects of molecular microbiology, and detecting subseafloor metabolic activity will be discussed.


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