Microbial community structure and nitrogenase gene diversity of sediment from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent field on the Southwest Indian Ridge

Yuehong Wu, Yi Cao, Chunsheng Wang, Min Wu, Oren Aharon, Xuewei Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A sediment sample was collected from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent field located at a depth of 2 951 m on the Southwest Indian Ridge. Phylogenetic analyses were performed on the prokaryotic community using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the 16S rRNA and nifH genes. Within the Archaea, the dominant clones were from marine benthic group E (MBGE) and marine group I (MGI) belonging to the phyla Euryarchaeota and Thaumarchaeota, respectively. More than half of the bacterial clones belonged to the Proteobacteria, and most fell within the Gammaproteobacteria. No epsilonproteobacterial sequence was observed. Additional phyla were detected including the Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Acidobacteria, Nitrospirae, Chloroflexi, Chlorobi, Chlamydiae, Verrucomicrobia, and candidate divisions OD1, OP11, WS3 and TM6, confirming their existence in hydrothermal vent environments. The detection of nifH gene suggests that biological nitrogen fixation may occur in the hydrothermal vent field of the Southwest Indian Ridge. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that only Clusters I and III NifH were present. This is consistent with the phylogenetic analysis of the microbial 16S rRNA genes, indicating that Bacteria play the main role in nitrogen fixation in this hydrothermal vent environment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)94-104
Number of pages11
JournalActa Oceanologica Sinica
Issue number10
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Foundation item: The China Ocean Mineral Resources R & D Association (COMRA) Special Foundation under contract No. DY125-15-R-03; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 41276173 and 41206104; the Scientific Research Fund of the Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration under contract No. JT1011.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • 16S rRNA gene
  • deep-sea
  • hydrothermal vent
  • microbial diversity
  • nifH gene


Dive into the research topics of 'Microbial community structure and nitrogenase gene diversity of sediment from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent field on the Southwest Indian Ridge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this