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Microbial Life in the Trenches

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Microbiologists have been making use of advances in ocean engineering to explore life in deep-sea trenches for decades, including for many years preceding man’s conquest of the Challenger Deep. This has fostered the development of an unusual branch of microbiology, referred to as high-pressure microbiology. Evidence for deep-trench microbes that grow best at elevated hydrostatic pressure was first obtained in the early 1950s, and isolates were obtained in pure cultures beginning in the early 1980s. Here I describe some of the history of deep-trench microbiology and the characteristics of microbial life in the trenches.

Keywords: Barophile; Challenger Deep; High pressure; Piezophile; Trench

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4031/MTSJ.43.5.5

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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