2011 Update

The WG has welcomed a new associated member, Dr Sylvia Sander, from Marine and Freshwater Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, New Zealand. She is a specialist in trace metal speciation in natural aquatic systems and has published several papers on the complexation of metals issued from vents by organic ligands (Sander and Koschinsky, 2011). Beyond providing a very important and complementary scientific expertise, she will add to the international representation of the WG. New Zealand is indeed part of the South Pacific countries that were previously underrepresented in our WG.

The annual meeting took place in Hangzhou, China 10-11 October 2011. It was hosted by Xiqiu Han at the 2nd Oceanographic Institute of China. As presented in the WG terms of reference and detailed in our last report, the meeting was dedicated to drafting two synthesis papers and to setting the plans for the 2012 international workshop. Synthesis will build on existing publications and on-going studies, particularly from WG members which have developed as a substantial effort in the last 24 months. 

In terms of field programs, the group members have been active in a number of new collaborative experiments or explorations for which discussions at the WG level have had significant outcomes. Several projects associating different WG members have been recommended for funding by NSF and are in the process of receiving official approval.

A non-exhaustive list of significant recent or forthcoming cruises:

1) Fall 2010. MenezMAR cruise on the Mid Atlantic Ridge. (N. Dubilier, Chief Scientist, W. Bach co project-leader, invited participants: N. Le Bris and P. Girguis). Interdisciplinary geological, chemical and biological studies at the Menez Gwen hydrothermal vent field, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, at 37°50’N. Two of the objectives were particularly related to the WG focus: How does conductive heating of seawater and conductive cooling of hydrothermal fluids affect the composition of diffuse fluids and the vent biota? What are the dominant sources of energy for vent life in the subsurface, surface and hydrothermal plume?

2) Summer and January 2011 (C. German): a pair of forthcoming research cruises to the ultra-slow Mid-Cayman Rise with large emphasis on C-org cycling near-seabed and during the buoyant as well as non-buoyant phases of hydrothermal plumes.

3) Fall 2011. IODP drilling leg for deep biosphere, North Pond (Mid-Atlantic Ridge flank) (K. Edwards, as co-Chief Scientist and other WG members including W. Bach). Key themes include functions and rates of global biogeochemical processes; the extent of life in the deep biosphere; limits to the existence of life; and evolution and survival in the deep biosphere – all of which are directly relevant to the scope of this WG. 

4) 2012-2013. GEOTRACES cruise investigating biogeochemical cycling in the South EPR hydrothermal plume (as well as Peru upwelling) has (informally) been approved in the US with C. German as Co-Chief Scientist (alongside Jim Moffett for the Peru Margin component).

5) 2012-2013. Indian and Caribbean cruises (K. Takai, with other WG members) particularly focusing on the linkages between geosystem and ecosystem of hydrothermal vent via chemistry.

A substantial number of papers have been published by WG members in 2010 and 2011, including several reviews on specific topics (see below). These works significantly expand our knowledge on 1) the rates and metabolisms fuelling autotrophic and methanotrophic carbon fixation, 2) the distribution and structure of chemosynthetic habitats on and below the seafloor and the diversity and variability of available chemical energy sources, 3) the flow of kinetically stabilized iron that can be exported from vents over long distances, and organic carbon export from vents. In addition, a couple of recent publications on the ocean circulation and dynamics near the crest of the EPR has been published (A. Thurner and co-workers), paving the way to further integration for an assessment of the impact of vent-derived material to the ocean carbon deep ocean budgets. An update of German and Von Damn 2004 overview paper on Hydrothermal Processes for the Treatise on Geochemistry can be mentioned as well as an upcoming publication led by Chris German and Bill Seyfried.

We also acknowledge the support that was provided by InterRidge as part of its fellowship programme to one student (D. Giovanelli) and a post-doc (E. Reeves), who are conducting studies in direct link with our focus.  D. Giovannelli will visit Costantino Vetriani’s laboratories at Rutgers University to develop a project entitled “Analysis of functional gene transcripts in microbial chemosynthetic biofilms from deep-sea hydrothermal vents”. The aim of the proposed project is to investigate carbon fixation, respiratory metabolism and quorum sensing mechanisms in chemosynthetic microbial biofilm from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. E. Reeves is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany, working with Drs. Wolfgang Bach and Kai-Uwe Hinrichs. His proposal is entitled: "An organic geochemical investigation of sulfur-bearing ligand formation in ascending hydrothermal plume particulate matter".  He will be working in collaboration with Drs. Chris German and John 'Chip' Breier at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA. They will conduct a hydrothermal plume particle sampling campaign at hydrothermal sites in the Cayman Trough in 2011.  

Publications by WG members (2010-2011):

Bennett, S.A., Sessions, A.L., Hansman, R.L., Nakamura, K. and Edwards, K.J., 2011. Tracing iron fueled microbial carbon production within the hydrothermal plume at the Loihi Seamount. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta doi:10.1016/j.gca.2011.06.039.

Bennett, S.A., Statham, P.J., Green, D.R.H., Le Bris, N., McDermott, J., Prado, F., Rouxel, O.J., Von Damm, K. and German, C. R. (in press). Dissolved and particulate organic carbon in hydrothermal plumes from the East Pacific Rise, 9°50’N. Deep-Sea Research Part I.

Breier, J.A., Toner, B.M., Fakra, S.C., Marcus, M.A., White S.N. and German, C.R.  Sulfur, oxides and organic matter aggregated in submarine hydrothermal plumes at 9°50'N, East Pacific Rise.  Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, in review.

Chan, C.S., Fakra, S.C., Emerson, D., Fleming, E.J. and Edwards, K.J., 2010. Lithotrophic iron-oxidizing bacteria produce organic stalks to control iron mineral growth; implications for biosignature formation. The ISME Journal 5: 717-727.

Childress, J.J. and Girguis, P.R., 2011. The metabolic demands of endosymbiotic chemoautotrophic metabolism on host physiological capacities. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 214, 312-325.

Das A., Sujith, P.P., Babu Shashikant Mourya, Sushanta U. Biche and Loka Bharathi P., 2011. Chemosynthetic activity prevails in deep-sea sediments of the Central Indian Basin Extremophiles, vol.15 (2); 177-189.

Das, A., Fernandes, C. E. G., Naik, S. S., Nagender Nath, B., Suresh, I., Mascarenhas-Pereira, M.B.L., Gupta, S. M., Khadge, N.H., Prakash Babu, C., Borole, D.V., Sujith, P.P., Valsangkar, A.B., Shashikant Mourya, B., Biche, S.U., Sharma, R. and Loka Bharathi, P.A., 2011. Bacterial response to contrasting sediment geochemistry in the Central Indian Basin. Sedimentology, 58: 756–784.

Edwards, K.J., 2011. Carbon cycle at depth. Nature Geosciences 4: 9-11.

Edwards, K.J., Bach, W. and Klaus, A., 2010.  Mid-Atlantic Ridge Flank Microbiology:  Initiation of long-term coupled microbiological, geochemical, and hydrological experimentation within the seafloor at North Pond, western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Scientific Prospectus, IODP Expedition 336.

Edwards, K.J., Wheat, C.G. and Sylvan, J.B., 2011.  Under the sea: microbial life in volcanic oceanic crust.  Nature Reviews Microbiology, accepted.

Edwards, K.J., Glazer, B.T., Rouxel, O.J., Bach, W., Emerson, D., Davis, R.E., Toner, B.M., Chan, C.S., Tebo, B.M., Staudigel, H. and Moyer, C.L., 2011.  Ultra-diffuse hydrothermal venting supports Fe-oxidizing bacteria and massive umber deposition at 5000m off Hawaii.

Gartman, A., Yücel, M., Madison, A. S., Chu, D.W., Ma, S., Janzen, C., Becker, E.L., Beinart, R.A., Girguis, P.R. and Luther, III, G.W., 2011. Sulfide Oxidation across Diffuse Flow Zones of Hydrothermal Vents. Aquatic Geochemistry, in press.

Hayman, N.W., Bach, W., Blackman, D., Christeson, G.L., Edwards, K.J., Haymon, R., Ildefonse, B., Schulte, M., Teagel, D. and White, S., 2010.  Future Scientific Drilling of Oceanic Crust.  EOS Transactions 91: 133-140.

Hügler, M. and Sievert, S.M., 2011. Beyond the Calvin Cycle: Autotrophic Carbon Fixation in the Ocean. Annual Review in Marine Science.

Hügler, M., Petersen, J.M., Dubilier, N., Imhoff, J.F. and Sievert, S.M., 2011. Pathways of Carbon and Energy Metabolism of the Epibiotic Community Associated with the Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Shrimp Rimicaris exoculata. PLoS One, 6, 1, e16018, 1-11.

Humphris, S.E, deMenocal, P.B, Edwards, K.J., Fisher, A.T., and Saffer, D., 2011. The critical importance of scientific ocean drilling. EOS Transactions 92(10):  84-85.

Kawagucci, S., Chiba, H., Ishibashi, J-I, Yamanaka, T., Toki, T., Muramatsu, Y., Ueno, Y., Akiko Makabe, Inoue, K., Yoshida, N., Nakagawa, S., Nunoura, T., Takai, K., Takahata, N., Sano, Y., Taku Narita, Teranishi, G., Obata H. and Gamo, T., 2011. Hydrothermal fluid geochemistry at the Iheya North field in the mid-Okinawa Trough: Implication for origin of methane in subseafloor fluid circulation systems. Geochemical Journal, 45, 109-124.

Kaye, J.Z., Sylvan, J.B., Edwards, K.J. and Baross, J.A., 2010. Halomonas and Marinobacter are widespread euryhaline bacterial ecotypes from hydrothermal-vent, subseafloor and deep-sea environments. FEMS Microbial Ecology 75(1): 123-133.

Lartaud, F., Little, C.T.S., de Rafelis, M., Bayon, G., Dyment, J., Ildefonse, B., Gressier, V., Fouquet, Y., Gaill, F. and Le Bris, N., 2011. Fossil evidence for serpentinization fluids fueling chemosynthetic assemblages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 108, 7698-7703.

Lartaud, F, de Rafelis, M., Oliver, G., Krylova, E., Ildefonse, B., Thibaud, R., Gente, P., Hoisé, E., Meistertzheim, A.-L., Fouquet, Y., Gaill, F., Dyment, J. and Le Bris, N., 2010. Fossil clams from an off-axis sedimented vent field nearby the Rainbow smoker complex: insight to the evolution and biogeography of vent fauna. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 11, Q0AE01.

Le Bris, N. and Duperron, D., 2010. Chemosynthetic communities and biogeochemical energy pathways along the MAR: the case of Bathymodiolus azoricus. In ‘‘Diversity of Hydrothermal Systems on Slow-Spreading Ridges’ AGU Geophysical Monograph 188, Rona, P., Devey, C., Dyment, J. and Murton B. (eds). PP409-429.

Luther, III, G.W, Findlay, A.J., MacDonald, D.J., Owings, S.M., Hanson, T.E., Beinart, R.A.  and Girguis, P.R., (2011). Thermodynamics and kinetics of sulfide oxidation by oxygen: a look at inorganically controlled reactions and biologically mediated processes in the environment. Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 2, Article 62, 1-9.

Orcutt, B.N., Sylvan, J.B., Knab, N.J. and Edwards, K.J., 2011. Microbial ecology of the dark ocean: Life in the dark above and below the seafloor. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews (75)2: 361–422.

Orcutt, B.N., Bach, W., Becker, K., Fisher, A.T., Toner, B.M, Wheat, C.G. and Edwards, K.J., 2010.  Colonization of subsurface microbial observatories deployed in young ocean crust. The ISME Journal 5: 692-703.

Orcutt, B.N., Wheat, C.G. and Edwards, K.J., 2010.  Subseafloor ocean crust microbial observatories: Development of FLOCS (FLow-through Osmo Colonization System) and evaluation of borehole construction materials. Geomicrobiology Journal 27: 143–157.

Sander, S.G. and Koshinsky, A., 2011. Metal flux from hydrothermal vents increased by organic complexation. Nature Geoscience (4), 145-150.

Sylvan, J.B., Pyenson, B.C., Rouxel, O., German, C.R. and Edwards K.J. Time series analysis of two hydrothermal plumes at 9°50’N East Pacific Rise reveals distinct, heterogeneous bacterial populations.  Geobiology, in review.

Sylvan, J.B., Turner, A. and Edwards, K.J., 2011. Microbe Metal Interactions on Endolithic Seafloor Basalts. In:  Microbial Metal and Metalloid Metabolism: Advances and Applications (Stolz, J.F., Oreland, R.S., eds.). ASM Press, Washington, D.C., pp 65-76.

Takai, K. and Nakamura, K., 2011. Archaeal diversity and community development in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 14:282–291.

Takai, K. and Nakamura, K. (in press). Chapter 12: Compositional, Physiological and Metabolic Variability in Microbial Communities Associated with Geochemically Diverse, Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Fluids. In Geomicrobiology.

Yücel, M., Gartman, A., Chan, C.S. and Luther, G.W., 2011. Hydrothermal vents as a kinetically stable source of iron-sulphide-bearing nanoparticles to the ocean. Nature Geoscience. 4, 367-371.