Environmental studies on the Microbiology of INDEX 2019 and INDEX 2020 cruises to the Indian Ridge

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The microbial community along the Indian Ridge is being investigated through phylogenetic analyses (high through put sequencing, Illumina), incubation and cultivation experiments. The role of different inorganic electron donors (primarily hydrogen and iron(II)) for carbon cycling is being studied in relation to local environmental parameters.

One of the experimental procedures includes deposition of incubation colonization devices containing different sulfide minerals. The first incubators were deployed at different hydrothermally influenced sites and sediments during the INDEX 2019 cruise and will be recovered during the INDEX 2020 cruise. After recovery, the composition of the microbial community that developed on the different sulfide minerals after one year of incubation and its functionality will be assessed.


Deployment of incubators (A-C) and example of sulfide minerals contained inside the incubators (D). A: deployment at an active hydrothermal vent. B: Deployment at an inactive vent field. C: Deployment at reference site, not impacted by active or inactive vents. D: Mineral samples in the sample holders of the incubators. Incubators were designed with the help of Sven Sturm and Ralf Schwarz from the TLZ, GEOMAR and deposited during INDEX2019 cruise. They will be collected in 2020. Fotos are from the INDEX2019 cruise ©BGR.


Related publications:

Adam, N., Kriete, C., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Gonnella, G., Krause, S., Schippers, A., Kurtz, S., Schwarz-Schampera, Han, Y., Indenbirken, D., & M. Perner (2019) Microbial community compositions and geochemistry of sediments with increasing distance to the hydrothermal vent outlet in the Kairei field. Geomicrobiology Journal, DOI: 10.1080/01490451.2019.1694107

Han, Y., Adam, N., Gonnella, G., Schippers, A., Burkhards, L., Kurtz, S., Schwarz-Schampera, U., Franke, U., & Perner, M.* (2018)
Hydrothermal chimneys host habitat-specific microbial communities: analogues for studying the possible impact of mining seafloor massive sulfide deposits. Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-28613-5


Contact persons:

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Perner (mperner(at)geomar.de)

Dr. Katja Laufer (klaufer(at)geomar.de)