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Deep microbial life in high-quality granitic groundwater from geochemically and geographically distinct underground boreholes

Ino, Kohei*; Konno, Yuta*; Kozuka, Mariko*; Hirota, Akinari*; Togo, Yoko*; Fukuda, Akari*; Komatsu, Daisuke*; Tsunogai, Urumu*; Tanabe, Akifumi*; Yamamoto, Satoshi*; Iwatsuki, Teruki ; Mizuno, Takashi ; Ito, Kazumasa*; Suzuki, Yohei*

To understand the subsurface biosphere, borehole investigation was conducted for 300-m deep granitic rocks at the Mizunami underground research laboratory, Japan. The initial biomass was the highest with the flourish of aerobic H$$_{2}$$-oxidizing Hydrogenophaga spp., whereas an uncultivated lineage of the phylum Nitrospirae became predominant after three years with decreasing biomass. The common occurrence of many species of Nitrospirae and Chlorobi phyla at the geographically distinct sites and the exclusive detection of their phylogenetically related environmental sequences from deep groundwaters and terrestrial hot springs, suggest that these bacteria are indigenous and potentially adapted to the deep terrestrial subsurface.

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Category:Environmental Sciences

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