New mystery of the Mariana trench
Sampling was conducted at the deepest point of the Earth’s surface the Abyss of the Challenger.
April 15, 2019 at 08:55
Scientists from the University of East Anglia (UEA), together with colleagues from China and Russia found in the deepest part of the ocean bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons, which theoretically should not be there. The study was conducted at a depth of about 11 thousand meters.
“We know more about Mars than the deepest part of the ocean” – head of the research group of Xiao-Hua Zhang (Xiao-Hua Zhang).
After receiving samples of microbial populations using deep-sea submersibles, scientists have recorded the presence of large groups uglevodorodnogo bacteria of the genera Oleibacter, and Alcanivorax Thalassolituus. These types of gram-negative, obligately aerobic or microaerophilic rod-shaped marine micro-organisms extract energy from compounds similar to those present in the oil.
In addition, for the Mariana trench has the high ratio of uglevodorodnogo bacteria on Earth. This surprised the researchers: if the surface of the water, the hydrocarbons mainly appears as a result of pollution of the oceans – for example, after a spill of fuel, its origin at greater depths is unclear.
After analyzing the composition of the water from all parts of the Abyss of the Challenger, the experts found the presence of hydrocarbons in all areas, including the distance of six thousand meters from the ocean surface and below. They suggest that this hydrocarbon has a biological – heterotrophic – origin. Most likely, in the deep-sea environment hydrocarbon produces another, as yet unknown microbial population.
Hydrocarbons – organic compound consisting of hydrogen atoms and carbon, which is detected even in the crude petroleum and natural gas. In turn uglevodorodnogo bacteria become the dominant microorganism of oil pollution. By biodegradation of hydrocarbons, they play an important role in the bioremediation of marine ecosystems – for example, in cases such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.