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Keywords:

  • Chloroflexi;
  • JS-1;
  • deep biosphere;
  • real-time PCR;
  • subsurface;
  • IODP

Abstract

Sequences of members of the bacterial candidate division JS-1 and the classes Anaerolineae and Caldilineae of the phylum Chloroflexi are frequently found in 16S rRNA gene clone libraries obtained from marine sediments. Using a newly designed quantitative, real-time PCR assay, these bacterial groups were jointly quantified in samples from near-surface and deeply buried marine sediments from the Peru margin, the Black Sea, and a forearc basin off the island of Sumatra. In near-surface sediments, sequences of the JS-1 as well as Anaerolineae- and Caldilineae-related Bacteria were quantified with significantly lower 16S rRNA gene copy numbers than the sequences of total Bacteria. In contrast, in deeply buried sediments below approximately 1 m depth, similar quantities of the 16S rRNA gene copies of these specific groups and Bacteria were found. This finding indicates that JS-1 and Anaerolineae- and Caldilineae-related Bacteria might dominate the bacterial community in deeply buried marine sediments and thus seem to play an important ecological role in the deep biosphere.