Ocean Science Journal

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 337–353 | Cite as

Fine-scale Microbial Communities Associated with Manganese Nodules in Deep-sea Sediment of the Korea Deep Ocean Study Area in the Northeast Equatorial Pacific

  • Hyeyoun Cho
  • Kyeong-Hong Kim
  • Seung Kyu Son
  • Jung-Ho HyunEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Deep Seabed Mining Resources


Despite its potential significance for industrial utilization, any activities associated with the mining of manganese (Mn) nodules might have substantial impacts on benthic ecosystems. Because microorganisms respond quickly to changing environmental conditions, a study of microbial communities provides a relevant proxy to assess possible changes in benthic ecosystems associated with mining activities. We investigated fine-scale microbial community composition and diversity inside and on the surface of Mn nodules and in nearby deep-sea sediments in the Korea Deep Ocean Study (KODOS) area located in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ) of the northeast equatorial Pacific. Although microbial cell density was lower within nodules (3.21 × 106 cells g-1) than in sediment (2.14 × 108 cells g-1), nodules provided a unique habitat for microorganisms. Manganese-oxidizing bacteria including Hyphomicrobium and Aurantimonas in Alphaproteobacteria and Marinobacter in Gammaproteobacteria were abundant in nodules, which implied that these bacteria play a significant role in nodule formation. In contrast, Idiomarina in Gammaproteobacteria and Erythrobacter and Sulfitobacter in Alphaproteobacteria were abundant in sediments. Meanwhile, Thaumarchaeota, a phylum that consists of ammonia-oxidizing chemolithoautotrophs, were the predominant archaeal group both in nodules and sediment. Overall, microbial communities in Mn nodules were unique compared to those observed in sediments. Furthermore, the phylogenetic composition of microorganisms in the KODOS area was distinguishable from that in the nodule provinces claimed by China and Germany in the CCFZ and nodule fields in the central South Pacific Gyre, respectively.


Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ) deepsea sediment microbial community microbial diversity 16S rRNA gene Mn nodule 


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Copyright information

© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyeyoun Cho
    • 1
  • Kyeong-Hong Kim
    • 2
  • Seung Kyu Son
    • 2
  • Jung-Ho Hyun
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Marine Sciences and Convergent Technology, College of Science and TechnologyHanyang UniversityAnsanKorea
  2. 2.Deep-sea and Seabed Mineral Resources Research CenterKIOSTBusanKorea

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