Methane is a critical component of the deep subsurface. In shallow marine sediments, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is coupled to sulfate reduction. However, relatively little is known about which microbial metabolisms are active in deeply buried sediment containing methane hydrates, particularly with regard to alternative electron acceptors that could fuel deep AOM. We propose to determine which microbial population(s) and functional genes are active in the deep biosphere beneath Hydrate Ridge offshore Oregon by sequencing metagenomes and metatranscriptomes from samples drilled on ODP Leg 204 and archived for future molecular analysis. We will analyze gene diversity and expression in six geochemically distinct zones from 2 to 139 meters below the seafloor with the goal of evaluating the relationship between geochemical conditions (i.e. sulfate, iron and manganese availability) and microbial metabolic activity.
Tréhu, A.M, Bohrmann, G., Rack, F.R., Torres, M.E., et al., 2003. Proc. ODP, Init. Repts., 204: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program).doi:10.2973/odp.proc.ir.204.2003
Shipboard Scientific Party, 2003. Site 1244. In Tréhu, A.M, Bohrmann, G., Rack, F.R., Torres, M.E., et al., Proc. ODP, Init. Repts., 204: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), 1–132. doi:10.2973/odp.proc.ir.204.103.2003
Tréhu, A.M., Bohrmann, G., Torres, M.E., and Colwell, F.S. (Eds.), 2006. Proc. ODP, Sci. Results, 204: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program). doi:10.2973/odp.proc.sr.204.2006
This work was supported by a C-DEBI Research Grant.