Acetate activates deep subsurface fracture fluid microbial communities in Olkiluoto, Finland

Hanna Miettinen (Corresponding Author), Malin Bomberg, Minna Vikman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Crystalline bedrock has been chosen for deep geologic long-term storage of used nuclear fuel in Finland. The risks generated by the deep subsurface microbial communities in these disposal sites need to be well characterised in advance to ensure safety. Deep subsurface microbial communities in a steady state are unlikely to contribute to known risk factors, such as corrosion or gas production. However, the construction of the geological final-disposal facility, bedrock disturbances, and hydraulic gradients cause changes that affect the microbial steady-state. To study the induced metabolism of deep microbial communities in changing environmental conditions, the activating effect of different electron donors and acceptors were measured with redox sensing fluorescent dyes (5-Cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride, CTC and RedoxSensor™ Green, RSG). Fluids originating from two different fracture zones of the Finnish disposal site in Olkiluoto were studied. These fracture fluids were very dissimilar both chemically and in terms of bacterial and archaeal diversity. However, the microbial communities of both fracture fluids were activated, especially with acetate, which indicates the important role of acetate as a preferred electron donor for Olkiluoto deep subsurface communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number399
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible


  • Deep biosphere
  • Electron acceptor
  • Electron donor
  • Methane
  • Nitrate
  • Sulphate
  • Uncultured archaea
  • Uncultured bacteria

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