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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Jun 28;102(26):9306-10. Epub 2005 Jun 20.

An obligately photosynthetic bacterial anaerobe from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3. jbeatty@interchange.ubc.ca

Abstract

The abundance of life on Earth is almost entirely due to biological photosynthesis, which depends on light energy. The source of light in natural habitats has heretofore been thought to be the sun, thus restricting photosynthesis to solar photic environments on the surface of the Earth. If photosynthesis could take place in geothermally illuminated environments, it would increase the diversity of photosynthetic habitats both on Earth and on other worlds that have been proposed to possibly harbor life. Green sulfur bacteria are anaerobes that require light for growth by the oxidation of sulfur compounds to reduce CO2 to organic carbon, and are capable of photosynthetic growth at extremely low light intensities. We describe the isolation and cultivation of a previously unknown green sulfur bacterial species from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent, where the only source of light is geothermal radiation that includes wavelengths absorbed by photosynthetic pigments of this organism.

PMID:
15967984
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1166624
Free PMC Article

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