100-million-year-old microbes found on the seabed revived, study finds

Katie Ramirez
August 1, 2020

"We knew that there was life in deep sediment near the continents where there's a lot of buried organic matter", said URI Graduate School of Oceanography professor and co-author of the study, Steven D'Hondt, in the statement. The pressure is huge for the microbes in the seafloor, due to all the water accumulated in the upper part, not to mention the fact that the lack of oxygen , the few essential nutrients and supplies of energy miserables .

The outcomes shocked Dr Morono, "At to start with I was sceptical, but we observed that up to 99.1% of the microbes in sediment deposited 101.5m a long time ago were being continue to alive".

As part of a 2010 expedition onboard the JOIDES Resolution drillship, the crew extracted sediment cores going as deep as 75 meters (250 ft) under the seafloor, which rests just about 6 kilometres (practically 20,000 toes) underneath the ocean's area.

They bought their solution: microbes that had been trapped in seabed sediments deposited 100 million several years in the past could be revived with the ideal food and a bit of included oxygen. And the answer is yes: the microbes that had been trapped in the sediments of the seafloor were able to come back to life after giving them the proper food and breathe oxygen. "But what we found was that life extends in the deep ocean from the seafloor all the way to the underlying rocky basement".

"In fact, were I given a precious sample of Martian material with which I could conclusively prove evidence of life on another planet, I would give it to Yuki Morono", said Biddle, who wasn't involved with the new research.

With the newly developed ability to grow, manipulate and characterize ancient microorganisms, the research team is looking forward to applying a similar approach to other questions about the geological past as life for microbes in the subseafloor is very slow compared to life above it, and so the evolutionary speed of these microbes will be slower. The authors report that if sediment accumulates at a rate of no more than three to six feet every 1 million years, it can remain oxygenated enough to support bacteria.

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It can be a mystery how the microbes ended up in a position to survive the harsh situations of their surroundings - and it really is unclear just how prolonged they can are living.

This is a sediment sample taken from the sea floor.

"We want to understand how or if these ancient microbes evolved", he said.

"This shows that there are no limits to life in the ancient sediments of the oceans in the world", says D'hondt. "Those people organisms are not only alive in the deepest, oldest sediment, but they are capable of developing and dividing".

The Daily Galaxy, Andy Johnson, via University of Rhode Island, Nature Communications, and Carl Zimmer.

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