Deep-sea microbes 'revive and multiply' after 100 million years dormant

Morono and D'Hondt with Sediment Cores

Scientists revive 100 million-year-old microbes in a lab

What they found within those early sediments were cells which, against all likelihood, were capable of creating new mobile and springing back to life. Microbes tend to be trapped in these layers of sediment as well. The surprise came when, even in older sediments, the researchers were able to revive nearly all the microbial community original .

According to D'Hondt, how the microbes managed to survive is a mystery.

The South Pacific Gyre is an ocean current which includes the oceanic pole of inaccessibility, the area farthest from any continents and productive ocean regions.

New research commissioned by Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) revealed that the earth's most primordial microbes have survived tens of millions of years without any life-sustaining phenomenon.

The area has little food, but it does harbor a lot of oxygen deep beneath the subseafloor.

Inside the sediment, experts observed marine microbes: small, one-celled microorganisms that make up the overwhelming bulk of the full mass of residing creatures in the ocean. Nor is it most likely that they migrated there from levels previously mentioned.

Some researchers are now pointing to what these findings might mean for the search for life on other planets, as they broaden what environments can be considered amenable to life.

After incubation by the scientists, the microbes started to consume and increase.

In analyzing the cells, they found deep inside the samples, the researchers incubated them and supplied them with carbon and nitrogen to see how they'd respond.

Over a period of 68 days, the vast majority of the almost 7,000 cells rapidly responded to the new conditions, multiplying by four orders of magnitude - even in the oldest samples. Different experiments have been conducted and researchers have been made to find out how long an organism can survive on Earth. "In the sediment, the most ancient that we have drilled, with the least amount of food, there are still living organisms, and can wake up, grow and multiply".

'It is surprising and biologically challenging that a large fraction of microbes could be revived from a very long time of burial or entrapment in extremely low nutrient/energy conditions, ' study author Dr Yuki MoronoMorono said. The scientists found that oxygen was present in all of the cores, suggesting that if sediment accumulates slowly on the seafloor at a rate of no more than a meter or two every million years, oxygen will penetrate all the way from the seafloor to the basement. Its physical appearance, having said that, belies a flourishing bacterial ecosystem that could have as a great deal as 45% of the world's biomass of microbes.

D'Hondt says the bacteria are survivors of microbial communities that lived as much as 101.5 million years ago.

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