Deep-biosphere bacteria from ODP Leg 201

Marine sediments harbour a considerable part of the living biomass on earth. The microbial communities within these sediments are characterised by low activities and extremely slow growth. Anyhow, increased cell numbers and activities in upper sulfate-methane transition zones (21-40 meter below seafloor) and in lower sulfate-methane transition zones (90 mbsf) demonstrate the presence of active microbial communities within pacific sediments. To get insights how these microbes thrive within their habitat, isolation and characterisation of dominant representives is necessary. Therefore, novel cultivation approaches were applied to contamination-checked sediment samples taken from the Equatorial Pacific and Peru Margin during ODP Leg 201 of JOIDES Resolution in Jan. Apr. 2002.



  • Engelen B and Cypionka H (2008) The subsurface of tidal flats as a model for the deep biosphere. Ocean Dynamics DOI 10.1007/s10236-008-0166-1 

  • Batzke A, Engelen B, Sass H, Cypionka H (2007) Phylogenetic and physiological diversity of cultured deep-biosphere bacteria from Equatorial Pacific Ocean and Peru Margin sediments. Geomicrobiology J 24:261-273  

  • Cypionka H, Engelen B, Sass H, ODP Leg 201 Scientific Shipboard Party (2002) Novel approaches to the cultivation of marine sediment bacteria. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 66:A161 

  • Cypionka R, Cypionka H (2004) Leben in der Erdkruste - eine Forschungsreise in die "tiefe Biosphäre". Unterricht Biologie 299:26-28  

  • Cypionka R, Cypionka H (2004) Reise in die tiefe Biosphäre. Unterricht Biologie 299:29-32  

  • D'Hondt S, Jørgensen BB, Miller DJ, Batzke A, Blake R, Cragg BA, Cypionka H, Dickens GR, Ferdelman T, Hinrichs KU, Holm NG, Mitterer R, Spivack A, Wang G, Bekins B, Engelen B, Ford K, Gettemy G, Rutherford SD, Sass H, Skilbeck CG, Aiello IW, Guèrin G, House C, Inagaki F, Meister P, Naehr T, Niitsuma S, Parkes RJ, Schippers A, Smith DC, Teske A, Wiegel J, Padilla CN, Acosta JLS (2004) Distributions of microbial activities in deep subseafloor sediments. Science 306:2216-2221 

  • D'Hondt SL, Jørgensen BB, Miller DJ, Aiello IW, Bekins B, Blake R, Cragg BA, Cypionka H, Dickens GR, Ferdelman T, Ford KH, Gettemy GL, Guèrin G, Hinrichs K-U, Holm N, House CH, Inagaki F, Meister P, Mitterer RM, Naehr TH, Niitsuma S, Parkes RJ, Schippers A, Skilbeck CG, Smith DC, Spivack AJ, Teske A, Wiegel J (2003) Controls on microbial communities in deeply buried sediments, eastern Equatorial Pacific and Peru margin, Sites 1225 - 1231. Proc. ODP, Init. Repts., 201 [Online]. Available from World Wide Web: http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/201_IR/201ir.htm, ISSN 1096-2158 

  • Sass H, Engelen B, Cypionka H (2003) Die tiefe Biosphäre - Mikrobiologie der Erdkruste. BioSpektrum 9:589-591