Ciobanu M.-C., Burgaud G., Dufresne A., Breuker A., Redou V., Ben Maamar S., Gaboyer F., Vandenabeele-Trambouze O., Lipp J. S., Schippers A., Vandenkoornhuyse P., Barbier G., Jebbar M., Godfroy A. and Alain K.
SME Journal (2015) 8 (7) 1370-1380 - doi : 10.1038/ismej.2013.250
The subsurface realm is colonized by microbial communities to depths of >1000 meters below the seafloor (m.b.sf.), but little is known about overall diversity and microbial distribution patterns at the most profound depths. Here we show that not only Bacteria and Archaea but also Eukarya occur at record depths in the subseafloor of the Canterbury Basin. Shifts in microbial community composition along a core of nearly 2[thinsp]km reflect vertical taxa zonation influenced by sediment depth. Representatives of some microbial taxa were also cultivated using methods mimicking in situ conditions. These results suggest that diverse microorganisms persist down to 1922[thinsp]m.b.sf. in the seafloor of the Canterbury Basin and extend the previously known depth limits of microbial evidence (i) from 159 to 1740 m.b.sf. for Eukarya and (ii) from 518 to 1922[thinsp]m.b.sf. for Bacteria.