Project Title Modeling how virus-microbe interactions influence carbon flow at a deep-sea volcano
Acronym Subseafloor Life
Created August 1, 2017
Modified August 3, 2017

Project Description


In order to break open the black box of deep-sea hydrothermal vent microbiology and take our understanding of subseafloor microbial processes and the carbon cycle to a new level, we propose to investigate autotrophy in the rocky subseafloor using molecular biological, cultivation, and geochemical techniques at Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano that will soon be part of a seafloor cabled observatory.  In line with the Moore Foundation’s MMI objectives, this project will address the functional roles of various autotrophic subseafloor microbial community members across temperature and metabolism classifications; their relationships with each other, with viruses, and with other sources of syntrophic metabolic energy; and their collective impact on carbon biogeochemistry as dictated by environmental gradients in temperature and geochemistry. Of particular importance is the inclusion of seafloor experimentation at Axial, which will not only yield data on microbial activity and carbon transformations in situ, but will also set the stage for integration of a microbial instrument at the Axial cabled observatory.  Our comprehensive suite of land-based, shipboard, and in situ analyses will yield cross-disciplinary advances in our understanding of the microbial ecology and geochemistry of carbon cycling in the subseafloor biosphere at mid-ocean ridges.

Data Project Maintainers

Julie A. HuberWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)Lead Principle Investigator
David A. ButterfieldNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA-PMEL)Co-Principal Investigator
James F. HoldenUniversity of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth)Co-Principal Investigator
Jullie Zeigler AllenJ. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI)Co-Principal Investigator
Joseph J. VallinoMarine Biological Laboratory (MBL)Co-Principal Investigator