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      Archaeology of Archaea: geomicrobiological record of Pleistocene thermal events concealed in a deep-sea subseafloor environment

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      Extremophiles
      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          A record of the history of the Earth is hidden in the Earth's crust, like the annual rings of an old tree. From very limited records retrieved from deep underground, one can infer the geographical, geological, and biological events that occurred throughout Earth's history. Here we report the discovery of vertically shifted community structures of Archaea in a typical oceanic subseafloor core sample (1410 cm long) recovered from the West Philippine Basin at a depth of 5719 m. Beneath a surface community of ubiquitous deep-sea archaea (marine crenarchaeotic group I; MGI), an unusual archaeal community consisting of extremophilic archaea, such as extreme halophiles and hyperthermophiles, was present. These organisms could not be cultivated, and may be microbial relicts more than 2 million years old. Our discovery of archaeal rDNA in this core sample, probably associated with the past terrestrial volcanic and submarine hydrothermal activities surrounding the West Philippine Basin, serves as potential geomicrobiological evidence reflecting novel records of geologic thermal events in the Pleistocene period concealed in the deep-sea subseafloor.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          00792
          Extremophiles
          Extremophiles
          Springer Science and Business Media LLC
          1431-0651
          1433-4909
          December 1 2001
          December 1 2001
          : 5
          : 6
          : 385-392
          Article
          10.1007/s007920100211
          11778839
          ab6eb1b9-88d9-4796-a9d9-e41696a1f7f1
          © 2001

          http://www.springer.com/tdm

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