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Chapter 39 : Commuting to Work

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Commuting to Work, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

An underwater microbial mat has been found in fairly shallow waters off the coast of Chile and, according to headlines, it’s the size of Greece, or about 132,000 km (or for us norteamericanos, about the size of Alabama). These communities of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria have been known for some time, but their attention has been highlighted by the recent version of the Census of Marine Life. In fact, they were discovered in 1963 by the oceanographer and microbiologist Victor Gallardo of Chile’s University of Concepción. Scientists may not have known much about these huge mats much earlier on, but the local fishermen sure did and called them , Spanish for burlap or unwashed wool or flax. Aficionados of the giant sulfide-oxidizing bacterium and other bacterial gargantuas likely include , the occupants of these mats, in their catalog of microbial marvels. This is a genus of gliding, filamentous bacteria that live in aquatic sediments where they face the same problem as , namely, how to hook up their fuel (sulfides) with their final electron acceptors (nitrates). (For details of their metabolism, see a recent paper [1.usa.gov/1RAhxrq].)

Citation: Schaechter E. 2016. Commuting to Work, p 153-156. In Schaechter M, In the Company of Microbes: 10 Years of Small Things Considered. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819606.ch39
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Citation: Schaechter E. 2016. Commuting to Work, p 153-156. In Schaechter M, In the Company of Microbes: 10 Years of Small Things Considered. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819606.ch39
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Bundle of extending out of their sheath. The appearance of a braid is seen where the filaments cross over, hence the name , “sulfur braid.”

Source: Jørgensen BB, Gallardo VA.1999. Thioploca spp.: filamentous sulfur bacteria with nitrate vacuoles. 28:301-313.

Citation: Schaechter E. 2016. Commuting to Work, p 153-156. In Schaechter M, In the Company of Microbes: 10 Years of Small Things Considered. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819606.ch39
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A schematic drawing of a cell showing the large vacuole that occupies nearly the whole space and that contains nitrate at concentrations up to 500 mM, some 20,000 times that of the surrounding seawater.

Source: Levin, LA. 2002. Deep-ocean life where oxygen is scarce. 90:436-444.

Citation: Schaechter E. 2016. Commuting to Work, p 153-156. In Schaechter M, In the Company of Microbes: 10 Years of Small Things Considered. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819606.ch39
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References

/content/book/10.1128/9781555819606.chap39
1. Teske A, Jørgensen BB, Gallardo VAFilamentous bacteria inhabiting the sheaths of marine Thioploca spp. on the Chilean continental shelf.FEMS Microbiol Ecol200968164172
2. Høgslund S, Revsbech NP, Kuenen JG, Jørgensen BB, Gallardo VA van de, Vossenberg J, Nielsen JL, Holmkvist L, Arning ET, Nielsen LPPhysiology and behaviour of marine Thioploca.ISME J20093647657

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