Report

Environmental Genomics Reveals a Single-Species Ecosystem Deep Within Earth

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Oct 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5899, pp. 275-278
DOI: 10.1126/science.1155495

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

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.

View Full Text