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  • 1. Drake, Henrik
    et al.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Heim, Christine
    Snoeyenbos-West, Oona
    Bengtson, Stefan
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Belivanova, Veneta
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Whitehouse, Martin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Fossilized anaerobic and possibly methanogenesis-fueling fungi identified deep within the Siljan impact structure, Sweden2021In: Communications Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-4435, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 1-11Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent discoveries of extant and fossilized communities indicate that eukaryotes, including fungi, inhabit energy-poor and anoxic environments deep within the fractured igneous crust. This subterranean biosphere may constitute the largest fungal habitat on our planet, but knowledge of abyssal fungi and their syntrophic interactions with prokaryotes and their concomitant metabolisms is scarce. Here we report findings of fossilized, chitin-bearing fungal hyphae at ~540 m depth in fractured bedrock of the Siljan impact structure, the largest crater in Europe. Strong 13C-enrichment of calcite precipitated with and on the fungi suggests formation following methanogenesis, and that the anaerobic fungi decomposed dispersed organic matter producing for example H2 that may have fueled autotrophic methanogens. An Eocene age determined for the calcite infers the first timing constraint of fossilized fungi in the continental igneous crust. Fungi may be widespread decomposers of organic matter and overlooked providers of H2 to autotrophs in the vast rock-hosted deep biosphere.

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  • 2.
    Drake, Henrik
    et al.
    Institutionen för biologi och miljö, Linneuniversitet.
    Roberts, Nick M. W.
    Geochronology and Tracers Facility, British Geological Survey.
    Reinhardt, Manuel
    Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Linnæus University.
    Whitehouse, Martin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Karlsson, Andreas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Kooijman, Ellen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Kielman-Schmitt, Melanie
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Biosignatures of ancient microbial life are present across the igneous crust of the Fennoscandian shield2021In: Communications Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-4435, Vol. 2, no 1, article id 102Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Earth’s crust contains a substantial proportion of global biomass, hosting microbial life up to several kilometers depth. Yet, knowledge of the evolution and extent of life in this environment remains elusive and patchy. Here we present isotopic, molecular and morphological signatures for deep ancient life in vein mineral specimens from mines distributed across the Precambrian Fennoscandian shield. Stable carbon isotopic signatures of calcite indicate microbial methanogenesis. In addition, sulfur isotope variability in pyrite, supported by stable carbon isotopic signatures of methyl-branched fatty acids, suggest subsequent bacterial sulfate reduction. Carbonate geochronology constrains the timing of these processes to the Cenozoic. We suggest that signatures of an ancient deep biosphere and long-term microbial activity are present throughout this shield. We suggest that microbes may have been active in the continental igneous crust over geological timescales, and that subsurface investigations may be valuable in the search for extra-terrestrial life.

  • 3. Drake, Henrik
    et al.
    Roberts, Nick M. W.
    Reinhardt, Manuel
    Whitehouse, Martin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Karlsson, Andreas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Kooijman, Ellen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Kielman-Schmitt, Melanie
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Biosignatures of ancient microbial life are present across the igneous crust of the Fennoscandian shield2021In: Communications Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-4435, Vol. 2, no 1, article id 102Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4. Drake, Henrik
    et al.
    Roberts, Nick M. W.
    Reinhardt, Manuel
    Whitehouse, Martin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Karlsson, Andreas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Kooijman, Ellen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Kielman-Schmitt, Melanie
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Biosignatures of ancient microbial life are present across the igneous crust of the Fennoscandian shield2021In: Communications Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-4435, Vol. 2, no 1, article id 102Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Lima-Zaloumis, Jon
    et al.
    Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Exploration, PO Box 871404, Tempe, 85287-1404, AZ, USA.
    Neubeck, Anna
    Uppsala University, Department of Palaeobiology Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, 752 36, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Bose, Maitrayee
    Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Exploration, PO Box 871404, Tempe, 85287-1404, AZ, USA.
    Greenberger, Rebecca
    Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, 91125, CA, USA.
    Templeton, Alexis S.
    University of Colorado, Department of Geological Sciences, UCB 399, Boulder, 80309, CO, USA.
    Czaja, Andrew D.
    University of Cincinnati, Department of Geology, 500 Geology-Physics, Cincinnati, 45221-0013, OH, USA.
    Kelemen, Peter B.
    Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, 211 Comer, 61 Route 9W – PO Box 1000, Palisades, 10964, NY, USA.
    Edvinsson, Tomas
    Uppsala University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Box 35, 751 03, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Microbial biosignature preservation in carbonated serpentine from the Samail Ophiolite, Oman2022In: Communications Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-4435, Vol. 3, no 1, article id 231Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Serpentinization is a geological process involving the interaction of water and ultramafic rock, the chemical byproducts of which can serve as an energy source for microbial communities. Although serpentinite systems are known to host active microbial life, it is unclear to what extent fossil evidence of these communities may be preserved over time. Here we report the detection of biosignatures preserved in a mineralized fracture within drill cores from the Samail Ophiolite in Oman. Two varieties of filamentous structures were identified in association with iron oxide precipitates. The first type are interpreted as likely microbial remains, while the second type are recognized as potentially microbiological dubiofossils. Additionally, laminated structures composed of carbon and nitrogen rich material were identified and interpreted as having a microbially-associated origin. Our observations affirm the potential to detect subsurface microbial communities within serpentinizing environments and highlight a unique taphonomic window to preserve evidence of rock-hosted life.

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  • 6. Sahlström, Fredrik
    et al.
    Troll, Valentin R.
    Palinkaš, Sabina Strmić
    Kooijman, Ellen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Zheng, Xin-Yuan
    Iron isotopes constrain sub-seafloor hydrothermal processes at the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) active sulfide mound2022In: Communications Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-4435, Vol. 3, no 1, article id 193Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sub-seafloor hydrothermal processes along volcanically active plate boundaries are integral to the formation of seafloor massive sulfide deposits and to oceanic iron cycling, yet the nature of their relationship is poorly understood. Here we apply iron isotope analysis to sulfide minerals from the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) mound and underlying stockwork, 26°N Mid-Atlantic Ridge, to trace hydrothermal processes inside an actively-forming sulfide deposit in a sediment-free mid-ocean ridge setting. We show that data for recently formed chalcopyrite imply hydrothermal fluid–mound interactions cause small negative shifts (<−0.1‰) to the δ56Fe signature of dissolved iron released from TAG into the North Atlantic Ocean. Texturally distinct types of pyrite, in turn, preserve a δ56Fe range from −1.27 to +0.56‰ that reflects contrasting precipitation mechanisms (hydrothermal fluid–seawater mixing vs. conductive cooling) and variable degrees of progressive hydrothermal maturation during the >20 kyr evolution of the TAG complex. The identified processes may explain iron isotope variations found in fossil onshore sulfide deposits.

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  • 7. Černok, Ana
    et al.
    White, Lee F.
    Anand, Mahesh
    Tait, Kimberly T.
    Darling, James R.
    Whitehouse, Martin J.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Geology.
    Miljković, Katarina
    Lemelin, Myriam
    Reddy, Steven M.
    Fougerouse, Denis
    Rickard, William D. A.
    Saxey, David W.
    Ghent, Rebecca
    Lunar samples record an impact 4.2 billion years ago that may have formed the Serenitatis Basin2021In: Communications Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-4435, Vol. 2, no 1, article id 120Article in journal (Refereed)
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