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Rocky outcrops covered with thick Fe and Mn oxide coatings, which are known as ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts, are commonly found on slopes of aged seamounts in bathyal and abyssal zones. Although the presence of diverse microorganisms on these Fe-Mn crusts has been reported, little is known about their metabolism. Here, we report the metabolic potential of the microbial community in an abyssal crust collected in the Takuyo-Daigo Seamount, in the north-western Pacific. We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of the Fe-Mn crust, and detected putative genes involved in dissolution and precipitation of Fe and Mn, nitrification, sulfur oxidation, carbon fixation, and decomposition of organics in the metagenome. In addition, four metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of abundant members in the microbial community were recovered from the metagenome. The MAGs were affiliated with Thaumarchaeota, Alphaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria, and were distantly related to previously reported genomes/MAGs of cultured and uncultured species. Putative genes involved in the above reactions were also found in the crust MAGs. Our results suggest that crust microbial communities play a role in biogeochemical cycling of C, N, S, Fe, and Mn, and imply that they contribute to the growth of Fe-Mn crusts.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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Light absorbing proteins and protein prosthetic groups found in certain microorganisms. Some microbial photoreceptors initiate specific chemical reactions which signal a change in the environment, while others generate energy by pumping specific ions across a cellular membrane.
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Remains, impressions, or traces of animals or plants of past geological times which have been preserved in the earth's crust.
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