DCO Project Summary

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Project Title
Genomes of Single-Cell Organisms
Start DateEnd Date
2012-01-01 2014-06-30
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A large challenge in environmental microbiology is linking taxonomic marks to physiology and metabolic functions. Single-cell genomics provides unequivocal linkage information for multiple genes and enables the reconstruction of entire genomes from uncultured microbial species. This project will undertake genomic sequencing of individual cells from deep subsurface microbes in order to (1) reconstruct metabolic properties of predominant microbial types in studied communities, (2) serve as references when interpreting metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data, and (3) reveal evolutionary processes for deep subsurface microbial populations.

The Deep Fracture (DF) portion of the Rock Hosted Communities Project sought to build upon previous studies on the microbial diversity of Precambrian Shield deep ecosystems and use cell sorting and single-cell genome sequencing approaches to evaluate the adaptations and the population genetics of these deep isolated communities. The work built primarily upon sampling opportunities in South Africa and Finland where populations of the deep biosphere organism Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator were found to be prevalent.


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Reporting Year 2012 Click to expand

  • RY2012-3 - submitted on Dec 01, 2012

    Update Details:

    [2012-12-01] Additional SAG libraries are being created from samples collected in summer and fall 2012.
  • RY2012-2 - submitted on Dec 01, 2012

    Update Details:

    [2012-12-01] Libraries of SAGs generated from six samples of Witwatersrand Precambrian shield in South Africa. These sequences suggest microdiversity among Desulforudis SAGs.
  • RY2012-1 - submitted on Dec 01, 2012

    Update Details:

    [2012-12-01] Seventeen SAGs currently undergoing genome sequencing.

Reporting Year 2014 Click to expand

  • RY2014-1 - submitted on Aug 31, 2014

    Update Details:

    Cells were sorted from both samples obtained from the South African deep fracture ecosystem as well as metabolically “activated” cells from the Outokumpo borehole in Finland. Populations of D. audaxviator and relatives were identified and their sequences have been obtained and are currently in the process of bioinformatics analyses. In parallel, samples for the enrichment of piezophilic isolates were obtained.

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