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These compounds—such as hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen gas, ferrous iron and ammonia—lack carbon.The microbes release new compounds after chemosynthesis, some of which are toxic, but others can be taken in nutritionally by other organisms.It's this process that gives the microbe its name: has been isolated from hydrothermal sediments at Kolbeinsey Ridge off the coast of Iceland and the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California.
When first discovered in the 1970s, these oases in the deep sea were a complete surprise—Dr.
Bob Ballard calls them a far more important discovery than his finding of the wreck of the Titanic!
These microbes are the foundation for life in hydrothermal vent ecosystems.
Instead of using light energy to turn carbon dioxide into sugar like plants do, they harvest chemical energy from the minerals and chemical compounds that spew from the vents—a process known as chemosynthesis.
Deep-sea hydrothermal vents form as a result of volcanic activity on the ocean floor.
Water seeps through cracks in the Earth's crust, dissolving metals and minerals as it becomes super-heated from nearby magma.One of these hydrogen sulfide-making species is Green sulfur bacteria are unique among hydrothermal vent bacteria because they require both chemical energy (from hydrogen sulfide) and light energy to survive.Green sulfur bacteria contain chlorosomes, organelles that are so efficient at harvesting light that green sulfur bacteria can grow at much lower light intensities than other light-requiring microbes.This water - which can reach temperatures of 400°C - eventually rises back through the ocean floor, erupting as a geyser from a hydrothermal vent.The dissolved minerals and metals precipitate on contact with the cold sea water, forming a chimney around the vent. When scientists first discovered these vents in the 1970s, they were amazed to find thriving communities of shrimp, crabs, giant tubeworms, clams, slugs, anemones, and fish.Extremophiles might have been among the earliest life forms on earth and have possible uses in industry.It’s possible that someday we may find extremophiles living on other planets.is a heat- and salt-loving species of Archaea that makes its home on the chimney walls of smokers.It harvests energy from hydrogen gas and releases methane, a process known as methanogenesis.If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.and *.are unblocked.