Molecular phylogenetic and chemical analyses of the microbial mats in deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea

Abstract

Microbial communities inhabiting deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea were characterized by molecular phylogenetic and chemical analyses. White patchy microbial mats were observed along the fault offshore the Hokkaido Island and sediment samples were collected from two stations at the southern foot of the Shiribeshi seamount (M1 site at a depth of 2,961 m on the active fault) and off the Motta Cape site (M2 site at a depth of 3,064 m off the active fault). The phylogenetic and terminal-restriction fragment polymorphism analyses of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes revealed that microbial community structures were different between two sampling stations. The members of ANME-2 archaea and diverse bacterial components including sulfate reducers within Deltaproteobacteria were detected from M1 site, indicating the occurrence of biologically mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane, while microbial community at M2 site was predominantly composed of members of Marine Crenarchaeota group I, sulfate reducers of Deltaproteobacteria, and sulfur oxidizers of Epsilonproteobacteria. Chemical analyses of seawater above microbial mats suggested that concentrations of sulfate and methane at M1 site were largely decreased relative to those at M2 site and carbon isotopic composition of methane at M1 site shifted heavier (13C-enriched), the results of which are consistent with molecular analyses. These results suggest that the mat microbial communities in deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea are significantly responsible for sulfur and carbon circulations and the geological activity associated with plate movements serves unique microbial habitats in deep-sea environments.

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Acknowledgments

We are very grateful to the shipboard science party of the YK03-05 cruise (PI, T. Sato) and DSV Shinkai 6500 operation team (commander Mr. Y. Imai and co-workers), and the crew of RV Yokosuka for helping us collect the deep-sea samples. We extend special thanks to Dr. Yukinobu Okamura for providing the map data of active faults in the eastern margin of the Japan Sea as well as for useful discussions. We also thank Mr. Masaru Kawato for supporting the DNA sequencing procedure. This work was supported by the INOUE ENRYO Memorial Foundation for Promoting Sciences (S. A.) and in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research, No. 15651008, provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (C. K.).

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Correspondence to Chiaki Kato.

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Communicated by K. Horikoshi

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Arakawa, S., Sato, T., Sato, R. et al. Molecular phylogenetic and chemical analyses of the microbial mats in deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea. Extremophiles 10, 311–319 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00792-005-0501-0

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Keywords

  • ANME
  • AOM
  • Cold seep
  • Deep-sea
  • Deltaproteobacteria
  • Japan Sea
  • Microbial diversity
  • Microbial mat