Ancient Microbial “Dark Matter” – Thousands of Unknown Bacterial Species Discovered in Hawaiian Lava Caves

Thousands of unknown bacterial species live in the lava caves of Hawaii Island, which are hundreds of years old.

Scientists have found more kinds of bacteria than they thought they would find in the lava caves, lava tubes, and geothermal vents on the big island of Hawaii. The results were written up in a new study that came out in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology Today, July 21, 2022.

This research looks at the different kinds of microorganisms and how they interact with each other. This shows how life may have existed on Mars and the early Earth. Surprisingly, the results showed that a group of bacteria called Chloroflexi are often “hub” species. This means that they are connected to many other species and usually play important ecological roles in the community. Many Chloroflexi species aren’t well understood, but more research will find species that haven’t been found yet and explain what these species do in these harsh environments.

This study suggests that older groups of bacteria, like the phylum Chloroflexi, may play important roles in the environment,” said Dr. Rebecca D. Prescott of NASA Johnson Space Center and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in the US. “The Chloroflexi are a very diverse group of bacteria that live in many different places and do many different things. However, they haven’t been studied much, so we don’t know what they do in these places. Some scientists call these groups “microbial dark matter” because they are made up of microorganisms that can’t be seen or studied.

Unseen volcanic life

Prescott and her colleagues took 70 samples from different places, such as active geothermal vents (fumaroles) and “younger” and “older” lava tubes and caves, which were under 400 years old and between 500 and 800 years old, respectively, to see how the bacterial communities might change over time. By sequencing the ribosomal RNA in each sample, they were able to find out how many and what kinds of bacteria were in each sample. Co-occurring bacterial networks also gave hints about how these microorganisms might interact with each other.

Geothermal sites, which have the harshest conditions, were thought to have less variety than lava tubes, which have been there longer and are easier to live in. Even though there was less diversity, the researchers were surprised to find that the interactions between people in these communities were more complicated than in places with more diversity.

Unknown Bacterial Species Discovered in Hawaiian Lava Caves
Unknown Bacterial Species Discovered in Hawaiian Lava Caves

“This makes me wonder if extreme environments make microbial communities more interactive and make microorganisms more dependent on each other,” Prescott replied. “And if so, how do harsh environments help to make this happen?”

Since Chloroflexi and another group of bacteria called Acidobacteria were found in almost all of the places, they may be very important to these communities. But these were not the most common bacteria, and the interactions between microbes in the different communities from the different sites were very different in terms of diversity and complexity. Oxyphotobacteria and Actinobacteria, which were the most common, were not often “hub” species, which suggests that their roles may be less important to the structure of the community as a whole.

Since this study was based on the partial sequencing of one gene, it can’t say for sure what species of microbes live in a community or what their “jobs” are. So, more research is needed to find out what kinds of bacteria are there and to learn more about what role they play in the environment.

In this study, copper minerals and white microbial colonies were found in a stalactite in a cave system in Hawaii. Even though copper is harmful to many organisms, this formation is home to a community of microorganisms. Author: Kenneth Ingham

Prescott said, “Overall, this study shows how important it is to study microbes in co-culture rather than growing them alone (as isolates).” “In nature, microbes do not grow by themselves. Instead, they grow, live, and interact with many other microorganisms in a sea of chemical signals from these other microbes. This can then change how their genes are expressed, which can affect what jobs they can do in the community.”

Unknown Bacterial Species Discovered in Hawaiian Lava Caves
Unknown Bacterial Species Discovered in Hawaiian Lava Caves

Bacteria from volcanic environments can tell us a lot about the past or even the future of life on Mars. They can also help us figure out how microbes turn volcanic rock (basalt) into the soil and help us with bioremediation, biotechnology, and managing resources in a sustainable way.

Guys, I Hope this Information will be useful for you. Leave your comment below And Stay connected to our website for more updates, Lee Daily.

Leave a Comment

Snowfall Season 6 Release Date ‘Games Wide Open’ is the Official Slogan of Paris Olympics 2024 The Morning Show Season 3 Release Date Johnny Depp Swore in a Declaration That Amber Heard Never Did Him Any Harm: ‘Damning’ Trump Faces Questions About His Net Worth in Interview (Latest News) Unsealed Depp v. Heard Docs Claim Johnny Depp Suffers From Erectile Dysfunction