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Front Microbiol. 2013 Dec 2;4:362. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00362. eCollection 2013.

Desulfotomaculum spp. and related gram-positive sulfate-reducing bacteria in deep subsurface environments.

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Equipe Environnement et Microbiologie, Institut des Sciences Analytiques et de Physico-Chimie pour l'Environnement et les Matériaux (IPREM UMR 5254), Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour Pau, France.
Mediterranean Institute of Oceanology (MIO), Aix-Marseille Université, Université du Sud Toulon-Var, CNRS/INSU, IRD, UM 110 Marseille, France.


Gram-positive spore-forming sulfate reducers and particularly members of the genus Desulfotomaculum are commonly found in the subsurface biosphere by culture based and molecular approaches. Due to their metabolic versatility and their ability to persist as endospores. Desulfotomaculum spp. are well-adapted for colonizing environments through a slow sedimentation process. Because of their ability to grow autotrophically (H2/CO2) and produce sulfide or acetate, these microorganisms may play key roles in deep lithoautotrophic microbial communities. Available data about Desulfotomaculum spp. and related species from studies carried out from deep freshwater lakes, marine sediments, oligotrophic and organic rich deep geological settings are discussed in this review.


Desulfotomaculum; deep subsurface; geomicrobiology; lithoautotrophy; sporulation; sulfate-reduction

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