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Title: Reconstructing a hydrogen-driven microbial metabolic network in Opalinus Clay rock

A significant fraction (~ 20%) of microbial life is found in the terrestrial deep subsurface, yet the metabolic processes extant in those environments are poorly understood. Here we show that H 2, injected into the Opalinus Clay formation in a borehole located 300 meters below the surface, fuels a community of microorganisms with interconnected metabolisms. Metagenomic binning and metaproteomic analysis reveal a complete carbon cycle, driven by autotrophic hydrogen oxidizers. Dead biomass from these organisms is a substrate for a fermenting bacterium that produces acetate as a product. In turn, complete oxidizer heterotrophic sulfate- reducing bacteria utilize acetate and oxidize it to CO 2, closing the cycle. This metabolic reconstruction sheds light onto a hydrogen-driven carbon cycle, and a sunlight-independent ecosystem in the deep subsurface.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [1]
  1. Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne (Switzlerland). Environmental Microbiology Lab.
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Chemical Sciences Division
  3. Bioinformatics Infrastructure for Life Sciences (BILS), Stockholm (Sweden); KTH Royal Inst. of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden). School of Biotechnology, Division of Gene Technology, Science for Life Lab.
  4. KTH Royal Inst. of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden). School of Biotechnology, Division of Gene Technology, Science for Life Lab.
  5. National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), Wettingen (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-05CH11231; CSP 1505; 2011-5689
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); Swedish Research Council (SRC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
OSTI Identifier:
1352739