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For further information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu

Contact: Gina Hebert, MBL, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu

Hydrothermal Vents: Hot Spots of Microbial Diversity
New analysis aids in discovery of thousands of deep-sea microbes

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—Thousands of new kinds of marine microbes have been discovered at two deep-sea hydrothermal vents off the Oregon coast by scientists at the MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) and University of Washington’s Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean. Their findings, published in the October 5 issue of the journal Science, are the result of the most comprehensive, comparative study to date of deep-sea microbial communities that are responsible for cycling carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur to help keep Earth habitable... MORE>>>


Huber, Julie A. et al. Microbial Population Structures in the Deep Marine Biosphere. Science, 5 October 2007, Vol. 318, Issue 5847, 97-100.
For full text of this paper, media can contact the Science press office, scipak@aaas.org

Staff Photos:
Julie Huber Mitch Sogin David Mark Welch
Julie Huber
Mitch Sogin
David Mark Welch

Other Images:
Available in high resolution Available in medium resolution Available in medium resolution
Image of diffuse flow hydrothermal vent Marker 52 taken in 2006 by the Remotely Operated Vehicle ROPOS during the NeMO 2006 expedition to Axial Seamount. Image courtesy NOAA Vents Program, NeMO Seafloor Observatory. Thermophilic bacteria isolated from Bag City Vent, one of the vents that was part of the MBL/JISAO microbial diversity study. Images by Julie Huber.

Full size map

Map of Sampling Locations (courtesy of Google Maps)

For more information on Axial Seamount, visit: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/vents/nemo/

Other resources:

Outside Microbe Experts Available for Comment:

Thomas M. Schmidt, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Michigan State University
tschmidt@msu.edu; (517) 614-2147

Norman R. Pace
Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
University of Colorado
nrpace@colorado.edu; 303-735-1808