Diversity and functionality of archaeal, bacterial and fungal communities in deep Archaean bedrock groundwater

Lotta Purkamo (Corresponding Author), Riikka Kietäväinen, Hanna Miettinen, Elina Sohlberg, Ilmo Kukkonen, Merja Itävaara, Malin Bomberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    The diversity and metabolic functions of deep subsurface ecosystems remain relatively unexplored. Microbial communities in previously studied deep subsurface sites of the Fennoscandian Shield are distinctive to each site. Thus, we hypothesized that the microbial communities of the deep Archaean bedrock fracture aquifer in Romuvaara, northern Finland, differ both in community composition and metabolic functionality from the other sites in the Fennoscandian Shield. We characterized the composition, functionality and substrate preferences of the microbial communities at different depths in a 600 m deep borehole. In contrast to other Fennoscandian deep biosphere communities studied to date, iron-oxidizing Gallionella dominated the bacterial communities, while methanogenic and ammonia-oxidizing archaea were the most prominent archaea, and a diverse fungal community was also detected. Potential for methane cycling and sulfate and nitrate reduction was confirmed by detection of the functional genes of these metabolic pathways. Organotrophs were less abundant, although carbohydrates were the most preferred of the tested substrates. The microbial communities shared features with those detected from other deep groundwaters with similar geochemistry, but the majority of taxa distinctive to Romuvaara are different from the taxa previously detected in saline deep groundwater in the Fennoscandian Shield, most likely because of the differences in water chemistry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberfiy116
    JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible


    • deep continental biosphere
    • Fennoscandian Shield
    • microbial diversity
    • functional genes
    • qPCR
    • granitic bedrock


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