Hyperthermophilic endospores germinate and metabolise organic carbon in sediments heated to 80C

Bell, Emma, Rattray, Jayne E., Sloan, Kathryn, Sherry, Angela, Pilloni, Giovanni and Hubert, Casey R. J. (2022) Hyperthermophilic endospores germinate and metabolise organic carbon in sediments heated to 80C. Environmental Microbiology. ISSN 1462-2912 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.16167


Cold surface sediments host a seedbank of functionally diverse thermophilic bacteria. These thermophiles are present as endospores which are widely dispersed in aquatic environments. Here we investigated the functional potential of endospore populations in cold surface sediments heated to 80C. Microbial production of acetate was observed at 80C, and could be enhanced by supplying additional organic carbon substrates. Comparison of 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries from 80C enrichments to sediments heated to lower temperatures (50–70C) showed that temperature selects for distinct populations of endospore-forming bacteria. Whereas sulfate-reducing thermophiles were enriched in 50–70C incubations, 80C exceeds their thermal tolerance and selects for hyperthermophilic organotrophic bacteria that are similarly detected in amplicon libraries from sediments heated to 90C. Genome-resolved metagenomics revealed novel carbon cycling members of Symbiobacteriales, Thermosediminibacteraceae, Thermanaeromonas and Calditerricola with the genomic potential for the degradation of carbohydrates, sugars, amino acids and nucleotides. Endospores of thermophilic bacteria are deposited on seabed sediments worldwide where they remain dormant as they are buried in the accumulating sediments. Our results suggest that endospore populations could be activated by temperature increases encountered during burial and show the potential for organotrophic metabolic activity contributing to acetate generation in deep hot sediments.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by UK Natural Environment Research Council awards to CRJH (NE/J024325/1) and EB (NE/K501025/1), from research grants to CRJH from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/J002259/1), ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (New Jersey) through the Knowledge Build program, and by a Campus Alberta Innovates Program (CAIP) chair awarded to CRJH.
Subjects: C500 Microbiology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 11:12
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 15:00
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/49848

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