- Itavaara, Merja Professor
Our research concentrates on the Fennoscandian Shield terrestrial deep biosphere. We have characterized the microbial communities (bacteria, archaea and fungi) at several Finnish sites and are presently investigating the possible functions of the uncultured microbial communities in deep groundwater using next generation sequencing techniques, metagenomics, enrichment techniques, such as SIP, cell sorting and genome sequencing. So far we have participated in the DCO Deep Life with a project where we have tried to gain more insight into the use of simple carbon compounds by the deep subsurface microorganisms and their preferences to different common electron acceptors.
This project involves screening of metabolically activated cells by FACS and single cell sorting. We are involved in the 'Enigmatic life underneath us: Genomic analysis of deep subsurface microorganisms' project (Dr. Stephanauskas, Lead) where genomes of single bacterial cells from deep terrestrial groundwater will be sequenced. In addition, we have participated in the high throughput community sequencing opportunity by the CoDL and are presently working on the data obtained from that effort.