Microbiology of the lower ocean crust; preliminary results from IODP Expedition 360, Atlantis Bank

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Author(s): Sylvan, Jason B.; Edgcomb, Virginia P.; Burgaud, Gaetan; Klein, Frieder; Schubotz, Florence
International Ocean Discovery Program, Expedition 360 Scientists
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, United States
University of Brest, France
University of Bremen, Germany
Volume Title: AGU 2016 fall meeting
Source: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Vol.2016; American Geophysical Union 2016 fall meeting, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 12-16, 2016. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States
Note: In English
Summary: International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 360 represents the first leg of a multi-phase drilling program, SloMo, aimed at investigating the nature of the lower crust and Moho at slow spreading ridges. The goal of Expedition 360 was to recover a representative transect of the lower oceanic crust formed at Atlantis Bank, an oceanic core complex on the SW Indian Ridge. We present here preliminary analysis of microbial communities sampled from Hole U1473A, drilled to 789.7 m below seafloor during Expedition 360. Sub-sampling of core sections was conducted in a newly designed plexiglass enclosure with positive air pressure and HEPA filtered air, providing a clean environment for microbiology sampling aboard the JOIDES Resolution. Adenosine triphosphoate, an indicator of microbial biomass, was quantified above detection in 23 of 66 samples analyzed. We measured exoenzyme activity for alkaline phosphatase (AP), leucine aminopeptidase and arginine aminopeptidase in 16 samples and found AP to be very low but above background for 14 of the samples, with highest activities measured between 10 and 70 m below seafloor (mbsf) and peaks again at 158 and 307 mbsf, while both peptidase enzymes were above detection for only one sample at 715 mbsf. Isolates of fungi obtained from core samples as well as analyses of lipid and DNA biomarkers, and Raman spectra for a few of our rock core samples provide initial insights into microbial communities in the lower oceanic crust. Finally, a new tracer of seawater and drilling mud contamination, perfluoromethyl decaline (PFMD), was tested for the first time and its performance compared with the commonly used tracer perfluoromethylcyclohexane (PMCH). PFMD was run during coring operations for ten samples and was routinely detected in the drilling fluids, usually detected on the outside of uncleaned cores, and rarely above detection on the cleaned outside of cores. It was below detection on the inside of cores, indicating penetration of drill fluids to the interior of whole round drill cores, where we collected our samples, is unlikely.
Year of Publication: 2016
Research Program: IODP2 International Ocean Discovery Program
Key Words: 07 Marine Geology and Oceanography; Atlantis Bank; Crust; Ecology; Expedition 360; Indian Ocean; International Ocean Discovery Program; Oceanic crust; SloMo; Southwest Indian Ridge
Coordinates: S324225 S324220 E0571645 E0571635
Record ID: 2017068206
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