Small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) is a phylogenetically informative molecule found in all cells. Being poorly preserved in most environments, it is a useful marker for active microbial populations. At Guaymas Basin, hydrothermal fluids interact with abundant sedimentary organic carbon to produce natural gas and petroleum. Where this reaches the sediment surface, it can support dense patches of seafloor life, including Beggiatoa mats. We report here on the stable carbon isotopic composition of SSU rRNA from a Beggiatoa mat transect, a cold background site, and a warm site with high oil concentration. Our initial hypotheses were that rRNA isotopic composition would be strongly influenced by methane supply, and that archaeal rRNA might be lighter than bacterial due to contributions from methanogens and anaerobic methane oxidizers .
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Mineralogical Magazine|
|State||Published - 2013|