Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and their specific animal communities shelter a variety of microorganisms that colonize the entire gradient of biologicially compatible temperatures form the mouths of the well-know "black smokers" to the surrounding ocean floor (2° C). Black smokers release many inorganic substances that can promote chemolithotrophic bacterial growth. Heavy metals may be also reased by hydrothermal vents: a substantial fraction will be precipitated but one cannot exclude that some will remain bioavailable in some niches of the hydrothermal vent ecosystem and may exert toxic effects (Llanos et al., 2000). From this perspective, it is of interest to screen the vent ecosystem for bacteria that display plasmid-born resistance to heavy metals as is the case in other natural (or anthropogenic biotopes that contain high levels of these chemicals (Mergeay, 2000). The present report focuses on the mesophilic microbial communities of the deep-sea hydrothermal sites Genesis and Grandbonum of the Eastern Pacific Rise (12°45' , 103°59' W) (depth: 2600 m).
|Journal||Cahiers de Biologie Marine|
|State||Published - 2003|