NASA Logo, External Link
Facebook icon, External Link to NASA STI page on Facebook Twitter icon, External Link to NASA STI on Twitter YouTube icon, External Link to NASA STI Channel on YouTube RSS icon, External Link to New NASA STI RSS Feed AddThis share icon

Record Details

Record 87 of 4294
Hydrogen Biogeochemistry in Anaerobic and Photosynthetic Ecosystems
Author and Affiliation:
Hoehler, Tori M.(NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA United States)
DeVincenzi, Donald L. [Technical Monitor]
Abstract: The simple biochemistry of molecular hydrogen is central to a large number of microbial processes, affecting the interaction of organisms with each other and with the environment. In anoxic sediments, a great majority of microbial redox processes involve hydrogen as a reactant, product or potential by-product. Accordingly, the energetics (thermodynamics) of each of these processes is affected by variations in local H2 concentrations. It has long been established that this effect is important in governing microbe-microbe interactions and there are multiple demonstrations that "interspecies hydrogen transfer" can alter the products of, inhibit/stimulate, or even reverse microbial metabolic reactions. In anoxic sediments, H2 concentrations themselves are thought to be controlled by the thermodynamics of the predominant H2-consuming microbial process. In sediments from Cape Lookout Bight, this relationship quantitatively describes the co-variation of H2 concentrations with temperature (for methanogens and sulfate reducers) and with sulfate concentration (for sulfate reducers). The quantitative aspect is import= for two reasons: 1) it permits the modeling of H2-sensitive biogeochemistry, such as anaerobic methane oxidation or pathways of organic matter remineralization, as a function of environmental controls; 2) for such a relationship to be observed requires that intracellular biochemistry and bioenergetics are being directly expressed in a component of the extracellular medium. H2 could therefore be utilized a non-invasive probe of cellular energetic function in intact microbial ecosystems. Based on the latter principle we have measured down-core profiles of H2 and other relevant physico-chemical parameters in order to calculate the metabolic energy yields (DG) that support microbial metabolism in Cape Lookout Bight sediments. Methanogens in this system apparently function with energy yields significantly smaller than the minimum requirements suggested by pure culture studies. Our recent work has extended the study of hydrogen to cyanobacterial mat communities. The large amounts of reducing power generated during photosynthetic activity carry the potential to contribute a swamping term to the H2 economy of the anaerobic microbial populations within the mat - and thereby to alter the population structure and biogeochemical function of the mat as a whole. In hypersaline microbial mats, we observe a distinct diel cycle in H2 production and a substantial corresponding flux. On an early Earth dominated by microbial mats, this transmission of photosynthetic reducing power may have carried important implications for both biospheric and atmospheric evolution.
Publication Date: Oct 05, 2000
Document ID:
(Acquired Sep 21, 2001)
Document Type: Preprint
Meeting Information: 5 Dec. 2000; Bremen; Germany
Contract/Grant/Task Num: RTOP 344-38-32-03
Financial Sponsor: NASA Ames Research Center; Moffett Field, CA United States
Organization Source: NASA Ames Research Center; Moffett Field, CA United States
Description: 1p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
Availability Source: Other Sources
Availability Notes: Abstract Only
› Back to Top
Find Similar Records
NASA Logo, External Link
NASA Official: Gerald Steeman
Site Curator: STI Program
Last Modified: August 22, 2011
Contact Us