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Environ Microbiol Rep. 2010 Oct;2(5):693-703. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2010.00163.x.

Sediment-associated microdiversity within the Marine Group I Crenarchaeota.

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Department of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Although oligotrophic, abyssal marine sediments cover most of the sea bottom, previous investigations of microbial diversity have primarily focused on organic-rich, anoxic sediments of continental margins. In contrast, abyssal open-ocean sediments are oxidized and contain limiting organic substrate concentrations. This study examines the archaeal diversity of oligotrophic, oxic and nitrate-reducing marine sediments and oxic bottom water in the South Pacific Gyre. 16S rDNA clone library analysis identified phylogenetically distinct lineages of the Marine Group I (MG-I) Crenarchaeota in oxidized sediment that are different from those in bottom water. Thus, the sediment habitat selects for different MG-I lineages, within short vertical distances of a few centimetres.

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