The Deepest Reaches of the Arctic Ocean Have Chlamydia
Wed, April 21, 2021

The Deepest Reaches of the Arctic Ocean Have Chlamydia

 

An international team of scientists was searching for microbes in the deepest reaches of the Arctic Ocean, also known as Loki’s Castle. It is a large field of hydrothermal vents on the seafloor that’s extremely low in oxygen and high in pressure. Also, it is one of the most desolate environments on Earth where organisms barely survive. 

 

Credits: All That's Interesting

 

Using metagenomic data, the scientists were able to get diverse microbial life without the need to grow them in the lab. “By using genomic methods, we obtained a more clear image of the diversity of life. Every time we explore a different environment, we discover groups of microbes that are new to science. This tells us just how much is still left to discover,” Thijs Ettema, a microbiology professor at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands, said. 

 

Credits: All That's Interesting

 

But, the team was surprised to find multiple strains of chlamydia bacteria from sediment several feet beneath the Arctic seafloor. Chlamydia bacteria is typically known for causing sexually-transmitted infections in humans and animals. According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they saw on the news or read in history books, they found out that out of 68 samples, 51 of them contained Chlamydiae. 

“Finding Chlamydiae in this environment was completely unexpected. And of course begged the question, what on earth were they doing there?” Jennah Dharamshi, the lead author of the new study and a Ph.D. researcher at Sweden’s Uppsala University, said.

 

Credits: All That's Interesting

 

A recent study published in the journal Current Biology revealed that the Chlamydiae bacteria in the Arctic Ocean were “abundant, diverse, and active.” This suggests that they could have a significant role in the deep Arctic sea’s ecosystem. “Chlamydiae have likely been missed in many prior surveys of microbial diversity. This group of bacteria could be playing a much larger role in marine ecology than we previously thought,” co-author Daniel Tamarit, a biologist at Uppsala University, explained.

 

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