Centre for Deep Sea Research

New Article in PNAS

A new study from researchers from the Center for Deep Sea Research tells about a 80 000 year long powernap on the seafloor.

Steffen L Jørgensen

Main content

Associate professor Steffen Leth Jørgensen has led a study aiming at takling one of the major unresolved questions regarding the deep sediment biosphere: Is life there on stand-by or is there growth? Rui Zhao, first author on the article and former PhD student at UiB, along with Desiree Roerdink and Ingunn Thorseth from the Center for Deep Sea Research and several international colaborators have given an answer: both! The study shows that some microbes can stay in stand-by for more than 80 000 years before entering a growth phase. The work, now published in PNAS, makes use of geochemical analyses, reaction rate modeling and microbial data to approach the problem through a quantitative approach. "We are the first ones to show that an increase in the amount of cells correlates with the increase of available chemical energy often found in geochemical transition zones in the sediments", says Dr. Jørgensen.

The publication can be found in PNAS.