Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




EXO LIFE
Highly effective communities of bacteria in the world's deepest oceanic trench
by Staff Writers
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Mar 22, 2013


Deep sea trenches act as hot spots for microbial activity because they receive an unusually high flux of organic matter, made up of dead animals, algae and other microbes, sourced from the surrounding much shallower sea-bottom.

An international research team announces the first scientific results from one of the most inaccessible places on Earth: the bottom of the Mariana Trench located nearly 11 kilometers below sea level in the western Pacific, which makes it the deepest site on Earth.

Their analyses document that a highly active bacteria community exists in the sediment of the trench - even though the environment is under extreme pressure almost 1,100 times higher than at sea level.

In fact, the trench sediments house almost 10 times more bacteria than in the sediments of the surrounding abyssal plain at much shallower water depth of 5-6 km water.

Deep sea trenches are hot spots
Deep sea trenches act as hot spots for microbial activity because they receive an unusually high flux of organic matter, made up of dead animals, algae and other microbes, sourced from the surrounding much shallower sea-bottom. It is likely that some of this material becomes dislodged from the shallower depths during earthquakes, which are common in the area.

So, even though deep sea trenches like the Mariana Trench only amount to about two percent of the World Ocean area, they have a relatively larger impact on marine carbon balance - and thus on the global carbon cycle, says Professor Ronnie Glud from Nordic Center for Earth Evolution at the University of Southern Denmark.

Ronnie Glud and researchers from Germany (HGF-MPG Research Group on Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology of the Max Planck Institute in Bremen and Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven), Japan (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology), Scotland (Scottish Association for Marine Science) and Denmark (University of Copenhagen), explore the deepest parts of the oceans, and the team's first results from these extreme environments were published in the widely recognized international journal Nature Geoscience.

Diving robot
One of the team's methods was to measure the distribution of oxygen into these trench sediments as this can be related to the activity of microbes in the sediments. It is technically and logistically challenging to perform such measurements at great depths, but it is necessary in order to get accurate data on rates of bacterial activity.

"If we retrieve samples from the seabed to investigate them in the laboratory, many of the microorganisms that have adapted to life at these extreme conditions will die, due to the changes in temperature and pressure.

Therefore, we have developed instruments that can autonomously perform preprogrammed measuring routines directly on the seabed at the extreme pressure of the Marianas Trench", says Ronnie Glud. The research team has, together with different companies, designed the underwater robot which stands almost 4 m tall and weighs 600 kg. Among other things, the robot is equipped with ultrathin sensors that are gently inserted into the seabed to measure the distribution of oxygen at a high spatial resolution.

"We have also made videos from the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and they confirm that there are very few large animals at these depths. Rather, we find a world dominated by microbes that are adapted to function effectively at conditions highly inhospitable to most higher organisms", says Ronnie Glud.

The remaining "white spots"
The expedition of the Mariana Trench took place in 2010. Since then, the research team has sent their underwater robot to the bottom of the Japan Trench which is approximately 9 km deep, and later this year they are planning a dive in the world's second deepest trench, the 10.8 kilometers deep Kermadec-Tonga Trench near Fiji in the Pacific.

"The deep sea trenches are some of the last remaining "white spots" on the world map. We know very little about what is going on down there or which impact the deep sea trenches have on the global carbon cycle as well as climate regulation.

Furthermore, we are very interested in describing and understanding the unique bacterial communities that thrive in these exceptional environments.

Data from multiple deep sea trenches will allow us to find out how the general conditions are at extreme depths, but also the specific conditions for each particular trench - that may experience very different deposition regimes. This will contribute to our general understanding of Earth and its development, says Ronnie Glud.

See the article "High rate of microbial carbon turnover in sediments in the deepest oceanic trench on Earth" in Nature Geoscience.

.


Related Links
University of Southern Denmark
Life Beyond Earth
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EXO LIFE
Antarctic and Arctic Insects Use Different Genetic Mechanisms to Cope With Lack of Water
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 19, 2013
Although they live in similarly extreme ecosystems at opposite ends of the world, Antarctic insects appear to employ entirely different methods at the genetic level to cope with extremely dry conditions than their counterparts that live north of the Arctic Circle, according to National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded researchers. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scien ... read more


EXO LIFE
NASA's LRO Sees GRAIL's Explosive Farewell

Amazon's Bezos recovers Apollo 11 engines

Leaping Lunar Dust

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project Seeks Public Support To Retrieve Apollo Era Moon Images

EXO LIFE
Sun in the Way Will Affect Mars Missions in April

ChemCam data abundant at Planetary Conference

Los Alamos science sleuth on the trail of a Martian mystery

Curiosity Rover Exits 'Safe Mode'

EXO LIFE
NASA Voyager Status Update on Voyager 1 Location

Voyager 1 has entered a new region of space

NASA denies report that Voyager left solar system

Reproduction In Zero Gravity

EXO LIFE
Shenzhou 10 - Next Stop: Jiuquan

China's fourth space launch center to be in use in two years

China to launch new manned spacecraft

Woman expected again to join next China crew roster

EXO LIFE
New Space Station Crew Members to Launch and Dock the Same Day

ESA seeks innovators for orbiting laboratory

New ISS crew prepares for launch

Space crew returns to Earth from ISS

EXO LIFE
Sea Launch and EchoStar Reach Preliminary Agreement for Launch Services

Estonia's student cubesat satellite is ready for the next Vega launch

Vega receives its upper stage as the next mission's two primary passengers land in French Guiana

Grasshopper Successfully Completes 80M Hover Slam

EXO LIFE
Astronomers Detect Water in Atmosphere of Distant Planet

Distant planetary system is a super-sized solar system

Water signature in distant planet shows clues to its formation

The Great Exoplanet Debate

EXO LIFE
Smartphone app turns home drone into spacecraft

Scientists claim new glasses-free 3D for cellphone

NASA Awards Astrotech Contract For SMAP Spacecraft Processing

Videogame power harnessed for positive goals




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement