Navigation Links
Homebuilding beyond the abyss
Date:2/11/2010

Evidence from the Challenger Deep- the deepest surveyed point in the world's oceans- suggests that tiny single-celled creatures called foraminifera living at extreme depths of more than ten kilometres build their homes using material that sinks down from near the ocean surface.

The Challenger Deep is located in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. It lies in the hadal zone beyond the abyssal zone, and plunges down to a water depth of around 11 kilometres.

"The hadal zone extends from around six kilometres to the deepest seafloor. Although the deepest parts of the deepest trenches are pretty inhospitable environments, at least for some types of organism, certain kinds of foraminifera are common in the bottom sediments," said Professor Andrew Gooday of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) and member of a UK-Japanese team studying these organisms in samples collected in 2002 during a Japan-USA-Korea expedition to study life in the western depression of the Challenger Deep.

The researchers, whose findings appear in the latest issue of the journal Deep Sea Research, used the remotely operated vehicle KAIKO, operated by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), to take core samples from the soft sediment of the trench floor. Among many foraminiferans with an organic shell (or 'test'), they found four undescribed specimens with agglutinated tests.

"The Challenger Deep is an extreme environment for agglutinated foraminifera, which construct their tests from a wide range of particles cemented together by calcareous or organic matter," said Gooday. "At these great depths, particles made from biologically formed calcite and silica, as well as minerals such as quartz, should dissolve, leaving only clay grains available for test building."

The researchers were therefore surprised to discover that foraminiferan tests sampled from the Challenger Deep contained calcareous components, including the dissolved remnants of coccoliths, the calcium carbonate plates of tiny algae called coccolithophores, and planktonic foraminiferan test fragments.

The organic test surface of one species was densely pitted with imprints, which the researchers interpreted as representing mineral grains of various types, including quartz, which subsequently dissolved. Agglutinated particles, presumed to be clay minerals, survived only in one specimen.

"Our observations demonstrate that coccoliths, and probably also planktonic foraminiferan tests, reach the Challenger Deep intact," said Gooday. "These particles were probably transported to these extreme depths in rapidly sinking marine snow, the aggregated remains of phytoplankton that lived in the sunlit surface ocean, or in faecal pellets from zooplankton."

It seems likely, therefore, that at least some agglutinated foraminifera living at extreme hadal depths build their homes from material that sinks down from the ocean above, rather like manna from heaven.


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr Rory Howlett
r.howlett@noc.soton.ac.uk
0238-059-8490
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Beyond sunlight: Explorers census 17,650 ocean species between edge of darkness and black abyss
2. Beyond genomics, biologists and engineers decode the next frontier
3. Frost & Sullivan Looks at Biometrics Advancement in Civil Security: Exploring Opportunities for Today and Beyond
4. Beyond ooh-ooh, aah-aah-- expert on monkey communication kicks off Darwin series, May 5
5. Researchers push nature beyond its limits to create higher-density biofuels
6. Research-based undergraduate course expands beyond Washington University
7. UCLA world summit to explore ancient life on Earth, and beyond
8. Shrimps see beyond the rainbow
9. Beyond batteries: Storing power in a sheet of paper
10. Krill discovered living in the Antarctic abyss
11. Into the abyss: Deep-sixing carbon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Optimove ... used by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, ... — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning ... personalized product and replenishment recommendations to their customers ... on predictions of customer intent drawn from a ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... -- Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or against large ... Identification Systems) ... is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed ...
(Date:3/6/2017)... MATEO, Calif. , March 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... marketing and sales technology, today announced Predictive Sales ... solution for infusing actionable sales intelligence into Salesforce. ... to automatically enable their sales organizations with deep ... messages that allow for intelligent engagement. Predictive Sales ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... release of LabKey’s newest software solution, LabKey Biologics . Built in collaboration ... and biotech organizations, LabKey Biologics provides drug research teams tools for biological entity ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017 Focus is ... sector due to the scientifically intensive operations of ... agricultural, environmental, and industrial. In today,s pre-market research, Stock-Callers.com ... Inc. (NASDAQ: PTLA), OvaScience Inc. (NASDAQ: OVAS), Ocera ... (NASDAQ: OCUL ). Learn more about ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. (OTCQB: REPCF) (TSXV: ... compelling safety and clinical data from its phase 1/2 tendon ... hair follicle-derived fibroblasts (RCT-01) as a treatment for Achilles tendinosis. ... ... safety profile at 6 months and showed no serious adverse ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Executive search firm, ... Avomeen Analytical Services. Harvill is a distinguished life sciences expert with a proven ... a leader in a wide range of services related to laboratory testing and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: