|Project Title||Alternative carbon fixation strategies in the model organism Thermovibrio ammonificans: A model system to study energy limitation in the deep biosphere|
|Acronym||Deep Biosphere Energy Limitation|
|Created||August 15, 2016|
|Modified||August 15, 2016|
Despite being the largest ecosystem on earth, the deep biosphere is considered to be energy limited. Chemoautotrophy is an important source of organic carbon in the deep biosphere, and significantly contributes to the deep carbon cycle. The Wood-Ljungdahl (WL) pathway of carbon fixation is common to both acetogenic and methanogenic prokaryotes and, together with the reverse Tricarboxylic Acid cycle (rTCA), is the most widely distributed carbon fixation pathway in subsurface organisms. Recent genomic studies suggested that hybrid strategies of carbon fixation may be functioning in several organisms. The simultaneous presence of different carbon fixation strategies might give an ecological and evolutionary advantage to organisms living in the energy limited subsurface. Despite this, our comprehension of alternative carbon fixation strategies under energy limiting conditions is scarce. Here I propose to investigate the use of carbon fixation pathways in T. ammonificans under energy limiting conditions, exploring the ecological and evolutionary implications associated with the co-occurrence of different carbon fixation pathways. The results will increase our understanding of the functioning of subseafloor habitats.
|Donato Giovannelli||Rutgers University (Rutgers IMCS)||Lead Principal Investigator|