[Lipus] Genomic Explorations into the Microbial Metabolisms of an Active Rift System

German Title: Genomic Explorations into the Microbial Metabolisms of an Active Rift System

Abbreviation: 395

Current Status: approved

Main Applicant:Dr. Daniel Lipus

Resources Recipient

Other Persons

Dr. Jens Kallmeyer
Prof. Dr. Dirk Wagner

Conveyor Begin: 1 April, 2020
Conveyor End: 31 March, 2021
Conveyor Duration: 12
Year: 2020


Despite growing scientific and industrial interest, the terrestrial subsurface biosphere and its interactions with geological processes remain largely unexplored. Recent investigations into the subsurface of the geologically active Eger Rift region provided insights into the microbial community structure, suggesting the unique subsurface conditions, consisting of high CO2 concentrations, low pH, seismic activity, and high temperatures drive microbial population dynamics. The rare geochemical conditions are also assumed to provide an environment favorable for accelerated and unique microbial processes and interactions, making the subsurface in such systems a “hotspot” for microbial life. However, very little data on the metabolic capabilities and genomic activity of terrestrial subsurface microbial populations is currently available, necessitating the need for additional investigations.
The goal of the proposed study is to build on the previous work and expand the current understanding of microbial processes in the Eger Rift, a unique, geologically active fault region, characterized by frequent CO2 degassing and mineral rich fluids, by investigating the metabolic potential and active gene expression through a multi-omic approach. This study will use modern, next generation sequencing based methods to investigate newly drilled core and CO2 rich water samples from the Cheb Basin in the Eger Rift that will be recovered by the ICDP drilling project (Drilling the Eger Rift: Crust, mantle, and deep biosphere processes in an active continental rift). State of the art genomic analyses will be used to identify active microbial communities, recover (novel) microbial genomes, reconstruct putative and active metabolic networks, and evaluate interactions between geochemistry and microbial ecology data. The results from this study will provide groundbreaking insights on microbial life in the subsurface in seismically and fluid-active fault line regions and provide valuable data for future ICDP drilling projects.