A sample of deep-sea sediment was obtained from the Japan Trench at a depth of 6292 m using a pressure-retaining sediment sampler. Microorganisms in the sediment sample were cultivated in marine broth 2216 at ambient pressure (65 MPa) without decompression, and at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa) as a control experiment. 16S ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) were amplified by PCR from DNA extracted from the original sediment sample and the mixed cultures, and the nucleotide sequences were determined. The results of phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA sequences indicated that microbial diversity in the original sediment samples showed a wide distribution of types in the domain Bacteria. Furthermore, in the mixed cultures incubated at 65 MPa without decompression, bacterial strains belonging to the Shewanella barophiles branch and the genus Moritella existed together at the beginning of cultivation, and Moritella strains became dominant towards the end of the cultivation period. Finally, in the mixed cultures incubated at atmospheric pressure, strains belonging to the genus Pseudomonas were dominant at all times. Analysis of fatty acids extracted from the cultures supported the phylogenetic results. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
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