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Potential for microbial H$$_{2}$$ and metal transformations associated with novel bacteria and archaea in deep terrestrial subsurface sediments

Hernsdorf, A. W.*; Amano, Yuki; Miyakawa, Kazuya  ; Ise, Kotaro; Suzuki, Yohei*; Anantharaman, K.*; Probst, A. J.*; Burstein, David*; Thomas, B. C.*; Banfield, J. F.*

To evaluate the potential for interactions between microbial communities and disposal systems, we explored the structure and metabolic function of a sediment-hosted subsurface ecosystem associated with Horonobe Underground Research Center, Hokkaido, Japan. Overall, the ecosystem is enriched in organisms from diverse lineages and many are from phyla that lack isolated representatives. The majority of organisms can metabolize H$$_{2}$$, often via oxidative [NiFe] hydrogenases or electron-bifurcating [FeFe] hydrogenases that enable ferredoxin-based pathways, including the ion motive Rnf complex. Many organisms implicated in H$$_{2}$$ metabolism are also predicted to catalyze carbon, nitrogen, iron, and sulfur transformations. Notably, iron-based metabolism was predicted in a bacterial lineage where this function has not been predicted previously and in an ANME-2d archaeaon that is implicated in methane oxidation. We infer an ecological model that links microorganisms to sediment-derived resources and predict potential impacts of microbial activity on H$$_{2}$$ accumulation and radionuclide migration.

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Category:Ecology

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