Scientists revive 100 million year old bacteria found on the seafloor

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Scientists revive 100 million year old bacteria found on the seafloor
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1 August 2020
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Scientists at the Japan Earth and Sea Science and Technology Agency are currently investigating bacteria found on the sea floor after more than 100 million years, which they have managed to revive in laboratories.

 

'It is surprising and biologically challenging that a large fraction of the microbes could be revived after a very long time of burial or entrapment under extremely low nutrient and energy conditions,' said geomicrobiologist Yuri Morono, who is leading the research.

The microbes, which included representatives of numerous bacterial groups, were found in a dormant state in sediments in the southern Pacific Ocean.

At about 74.5 meters below the ocean floor, these microorganisms were collected and then incubated for 557 days.

'Maintaining full physiological capacity for 100 million years in isolation and with hunger is an impressive feat,' said oceanographer Steven D'Hondt, co-author of the study.

The exploration of sediments found in the underwater depths is a new way to understand the climate and geological events of other times, the experts said.

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