8.6 C
New York
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Home World News Scientists revive 100 million-year-old microbes from deep under sea floor

Scientists revive 100 million-year-old microbes from deep under sea floor


Scientists have succeeded in reviving microbes retrieved from sediment deep under the sea floor in the heart of the South Pacific that had survived in a dormant state for 101.5 million years in research illustrating the resiliency of life on Earth.

The microbes, spanning 10 major and numerous minor groups of bacteria, may be the planet’s oldest-known organisms. The scientists said on Tuesday the microbes were present in clay samples drilled from the research vessel JOIDES Resolution about 74.5 metres under the sea floor, below 5.7 kilometres of water.

This is a sediment sample taken from the sea floor. Up to 99 per cent of the microbes in such samples, dating back to the age of dinosaurs, survived despite having essentially no nutrients for all that time. (JAMSTEC)

Up to 99 per cent of the microbes, dating back to the age of dinosaurs, that were found encased in the sediment survived despite having essentially no nutrients for all that time.

The researchers, led by Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology geomicrobiologist Yuki Morono, incubated the microbes for up to 557 days in a secure laboratory setting, providing carbon and nitrogen “food” sources such as ammonia, acetate and amino acids. The microbes grew, multiplied and displayed diverse metabolic activities.

“It is surprising and biologically challenging that a large fraction of microbes could be revived from a very long time of burial or entrapment in extremely low nutrient/energy conditions,” Morono said.

The microbes were aerobic — requiring oxygen to live — and oxygen was present in the sediment samples. This indicates, the researchers said, that if sediment accumulates gradually on the sea floor at a rate of no more than a metre or two every million years, oxygen may remain present to enable such microbes to survive stupendous lengths of time.

“The most exciting part of this study is that it basically shows that there is no limit to life in the old sediments of Earth’s oceans,” said University of Rhode Island oceanographer Steven D’Hondt, co-author of the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

“Maintaining full physiological capability for 100 million years in starving isolation is an impressive feat,” D’Hondt said.

Research published in 2000 described reviving bacteria inside 250-million-year-old salt crystals from Texas, but there is a dispute regarding the age of those microbes.

Bjorn Olav Steinsbu, microbiologist at the University of Bergen; Yuki Morono, microbiologist at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology; and Xiao-Hua Zhang, microbiologist at the Ocean University of China check the sample board in the core refer lab. (John Beck)



Source link

Today news
Today News 1 runs four of the western GTA’s most influential media websites, offering news, food, lifestyle and entertainment coverage for millions to the Golden Horseshoe and GTA regions. The independently-run, online news source was founded in 2019 and specializes in everything from breaking news to food and restaurant, arts and entertainment and lifestyle coverage.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

The invisible reasons mosquitoes prefer some people over others

Bad news for fans of having a beer while out on a hike or camping trip.  That tasty alcohol? Mosquitoes seem to...

Montreal conservationists work to save vanishing Monarch butterflies from extinction

At his home on Montreal's south shore, Roger Giraldeau makes his way to his nursery. Opening the door, he delicately lifts up...

Parks Canada takes steps to protect rare flower found only in N.W.T. park reserve

Not much is known about the Nahanni aster, but the flower has become a species of special interest to flora aficionados.  The plant...

How to save our wild salmon from being cooked by climate change

A heat wave is expected to kill all juvenile chinook salmon in California's Sacramento River, wildlife officials say. Meanwhile, climate change and extreme...

Recent Comments