Environmental Genomics Reveals a Single-Species Ecosystem Deep Within Earth Academic Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/5707-6355-7681-4421-CC

year of publication

  • 2008

abstract

  • DNA from low-biodiversity fracture water collected at 2.8-kilometer depth in a South African gold mine was sequenced and assembled into a single, complete genome. This bacterium, Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator , composes >99.9% of the microorganisms inhabiting the fluid phase of this particular fracture. Its genome indicates a motile, sporulating, sulfate-reducing, chemoautotrophic thermophile that can fix its own nitrogen and carbon by using machinery shared with archaea. Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator  is capable of an independent life-style well suited to long-term isolation from the photosphere deep within Earth's crust and offers an example of a natural ecosystem that appears to have its biological component entirely encoded within a single genome.

volume

  • 322

issue

  • 5899