Experimental equipment for Lake Baikal deep biosphere microorganism’s exploration and some results obtained using this equipment
The development of special autoclaves with automatic temperature control (Nikolaev Institute of Inorganic Chemistry) had enabled reproduction of Lake Baikal tectonically active zone typical conditions (80°C, 5 MPa). This article describes in details the equipment developed and demonstrates some results obtained using the equipment. In series of thermobaric experiments on the cultivation of bottom sediment microbial communities, we have determined the microbial community potential to transform organic matter via the formation of dibenzothiophenes, tri- and monoaromatic steroids as well as petroleum biomarkers (retene and gammacerene). The particular bottom sediment geochemical environment associated with hydrocarbon discharge imply the composition of microbial communities and, hence, the organic matter transformation degree as well as a compound spectrum resulting from the destruction of organic matter under thermobaric conditions. The presence of microorganisms with an unusual metabolism suggests the promising potential for such studies both in application to Lake Baikal and worldwide.
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