Banta Amy B.

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Amy B.

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  • Preprint
    A ubiquitous thermoacidophilic archaeon from deep-sea hydrothermal vents
    ( 2006-05-19) Reysenbach, Anna-Louise ; Liu, Yitai ; Banta, Amy B. ; Beveridge, Terry J. ; Kirshtein, Julie D. ; Schouten, Stefan ; Tivey, Margaret K. ; Von Damm, Karen L. ; Voytek, Mary A.
    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents play an important role in global biogeochemical cycles, providing biological oases at the seafloor that are supported by the thermal and chemical flux from the Earth’s interior. As hot, acidic and reduced hydrothermal fluids mix with cold, alkaline and oxygenated seawater, minerals precipitate to form porous sulphide-sulphate deposits. These structures provide microhabitats for a diversity of prokaryotes that exploit the geochemical and physical gradients in this dynamic ecosystem. It has been proposed that fluid pH in the actively-venting sulphide structures is generally low (pH<4.5)2 yet no extreme thermoacidophile has been isolated from vent deposits. Culture-independent surveys based on rRNA genes from deep-sea hydrothermal deposits have identified a widespread euryarchaeotal lineage, DHVE23-6. Despite DHVE2’s ubiquity and apparent deep-sea endemism, cultivation of this group has been unsuccessful and thus its metabolism remains a mystery. Here we report the isolation and cultivation of a member of the DHVE2 group, which is an obligate thermoacidophilic sulphur or iron reducing heterotroph capable of growing from pH 3.3 to 5.8 and between 55 to 75°C. In addition, we demonstrate that this isolate constitutes up to 15% of the archaeal population, providing the first evidence that thermoacidophiles may be key players in the sulphur and iron cycling at deep-sea vents.