Environmental genomics reveals a single-species ecosystem deep within earth

Dylan Chivian, Eoin L. Brodie, Eric J. Alm, David E. Culley, Paramvir S. Dehal, Todd Z. DeSantis, Thomas M. Gihring, Alla Lapidus, Li Hung Lin, Stephen R. Lowry, Duane P. Moser, Paul M. Richardson, Gordon Southam, Greg Wanger, Lisa M. Pratt, Gary L. Andersen, Terry C. Hazen, Fred J. Brockman, Adam P. Arkin, Tullis C. Onstott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

284 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-278
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume322
Issue number5899
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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