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Niche differentiation among mat-forming, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria at cold seeps of the Nile Deep Sea Fan (Eastern Mediterranean Sea)
Grünke, S.; Felden, J.; Lichtschlag, A.; Girnth, A.-C.; de Beer, D.; Wenzhöfer, F.; Boetius, A. (2011). Niche differentiation among mat-forming, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria at cold seeps of the Nile Deep Sea Fan (Eastern Mediterranean Sea). Geobiol. 9(4): 330-348.
In: Geobiology. Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 1472-4677, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors | Dataset 

    Bacteria; Mats; Niches; Oxidation; Sediments; Seeps; Sulphur oxides; MED, Eastern Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Grünke, S.
  • Felden, J.
  • Lichtschlag, A.
  • Girnth, A.-C.
  • de Beer, D.
  • Wenzhöfer, F.
  • Boetius, A.

    Sufidic muds of cold seeps on the Nile Deep Sea Fan (NDSF) are populated by different types of mat-forming sulfide-oxidizing bacteria. The predominant sulfide oxidizers of three different mats were identified by microscopic and phylogenetic analyses as (i) Arcobacter species producing cotton-ball-like sulfur precipitates, (ii) large filamentous sulfur bacteria including Beggiatoa species, and (iii) single, spherical Thiomargarita species. High resolution in situ microprofiles revealed different geochemical settings selecting for the different mat types. Arcobacter mats occurred where oxygen and sulfide overlapped above the seafloor in the bottom water interface. Filamentous sulfide oxidizers were associated with steep gradients of oxygen and sulfide in the sediment. A dense population of Thiomargarita was favored by temporarily changing supplies of oxygen and sulfide in the bottom water. These results indicate that the decisive factors in selecting for different mat-forming bacteria within one deep-sea province are spatial or temporal variations in energy supply. Furthermore, the occurrence of Arcobacter spp.-related 16S rRNA genes in the sediments below all three types of mats, as well as on top of brine lakes of the NDSF, indicates that this group of sulfide oxidizers can switch between different life modes depending on the geobiochemical habitat setting.

  • Bacteria of the Eastern Mediterranean (2006) and the Nordic Margin (2006-2009) collected during different cruises and processed by MPIMM, more

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