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Geomicrobiological properties of ultra-deep granitic groundwater from the Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory (MIU), central Japan.


Although deep subterranean crystalline rocks are known to harbor microbial ecosystems, geochemical factors that constrain the biomass, diversity, and metabolic activities of microorganisms remain to be clearly defined. To better understand the geochemical and microbiological relationships, we characterized granitic groundwater collected from a 1,148- to 1,169-m-deep borehole interval at the Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory site, Japan, in 2005 and 2008. Geochemical analyses of the groundwater samples indicated that major electron acceptors, such as NO(3)(-) and SO(4)(2-), were not abundant, while dissolved organic carbon (not including organic acids), CH(4) and H(2), was moderately rich in the groundwater sample collected in 2008. The total number of acridine orange-stained cells in groundwater samples collected in 2005 and 2008 were 1.1 x 10(4) and 5.2 x 10(4) cells/mL, respectively. In 2005 and 2008, the most common phylotypes determined by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis were both related to Thauera spp., the cultivated members of which can utilize minor electron donors, such as aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons. After a 3-5-week incubation period with potential electron donors (organic acids or CH(4) + H(2)) and with/without electron acceptors (O(2) or NO(3)(-)), dominant microbial populations shifted to Brevundimonas spp. These geomicrobiological results suggest that deep granitic groundwater has been stably colonized by Thauera spp. probably owing to the limitation of O(2), NO(3)(-), and organic acids.


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    Microbial ecology 60:1 2010 Jul pg 214-25


    DNA, Bacterial
    Fresh Water
    RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
    Sequence Analysis, DNA
    Water Microbiology

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't



    PubMed ID