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Presence of Hydrogenophilus thermoluteolus DNA in accretion ice in the subglacial Lake Vostok, Antarctica, assessed using rrs, cbb and hox

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The 3561 m Vostok ice core sample originating from the subglacial Lake Vostok accretion (frozen lake water) ice with sediment inclusions was thoroughly studied by various means to confirm the presence of the thermophile bacterium Hydrogenophilus thermoluteolus reported earlier in the 3607 m accretion ice sample. PCR and molecular-phylogenetic analyses performed in two independent laboratories were made using different 16S rRNA gene (rrs) targeted primers. As a result, rrs-targeted PCR permitted to recover several very closely related clones with a small genetic distance to Hydrogenophilus thermoluteolus (< 1%). In addition, RubisCO (cbbL or rbcL) and NiFe-Hydrogenase (hoxV or hupL) targeted PCR have also allowed to recover sequences highly related to Hydrogenophilus thermoluteolus. All these results point to the presence of thermophilic chemoautotrophic microorganisms in Lake Vostok accretion ice. They presumably originate from deep faults in the bedrock cavity containing the lake in which episodes of seismotectonic activity would release debris along with microbial cells.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: UMR-CNRS 5557 Ecologie Microbienne, IFR41 Bio-Environnement et Santé, Université Lyon 1, 43 bd du 11 novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex, France. 2: Centre de Génétique Moléculaire et Cellulaire/UMR-CNRS 5534, Université Lyon I, 43 bd du 11 novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex, France. 3: LGGE CNRS, 54, rue Molière, Saint Martin d’Hères 38402, France.

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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