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Recent progress in the microbiology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps
Nelson, D.C. (1998). Recent progress in the microbiology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps. Cah. Biol. Mar. 39(3-4): 373-378.
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723; e-ISSN 2262-3094, more
Also appears in:
(1998). Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Biology: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal 20-24 October 1997. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 39(3-4). Station Biologique de Roscoff: Roscoff. 219-392 pp., more
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  • Nelson, D.C.

    Recent findings about microbiology at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps are considered here under three separate headings: (1) endosymbiotic members of the domain Bacteria, (2) free-living mesophilic bacteria, and (3) free-living archael and bacterial thermophiles and hyperthermophiles. Although the headings cover the full spectrum of prokaryotes in these environments, the examples selected are representative rather than exhaustive, with the choices inevitably reflecting personal biases. In these environments symbiotic and free-living prokaryotes can reach impressive biomass densities (Jannasch et al., 1989; Nelson et al., 1991; Hessler et al., 1988; Barry et al., 1997). There is little doubt that symbiont biomass dominates at vents, but at certain seeps, free-living iiiesophilic bacteria may well be most abundant (McHatton et al., 1996). Our knowledge of thermophilic and livperthermophilic prokaryotes (archaea plus bacteria) at vents is in an early stage. While an ever expanding evolutionary and physiological diversity of pure culture representatives is being uncovered, the densities of these high temperature prokaryotes venting into ambient deep ocean waters are generally unimpressive. Some type of prokaryote-dominated thermophilic "subsurface biosphere", below the mid-ocean volcanic ridges, may be a source of these venting thermophiles. However, almost nothing is known about the density or productivity of microbes there (Kerr, 1997).

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