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NURP Supports Genome Sequencing of Deep Sea Organism
This story entered on 10th Jun, 2005 12:57:26 PM PST

Researchers at the University of Hawaii recently completed mapping the genetic sequence, or genome, of I. loihiensis, a bacterium that inhabits the deep sea vents of Hawaii’s Loihi undersea volcano. The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL), NOAA’s Undersea Research Program for Hawaii and the Western Pacific, provided the technical equipment and expertise to isolate the microorganism from Loihi’s hydrothermal vents at 1300-m depth, where temperatures can reach 198 oC. Furthermore, HURL developed apparatus that replicated the hydrothermal vent environment, allowing the bacterium to be transferred seamlessly to the University of Hawaii’s research labs.

Information derived from the genome suggests that I. loihiensis relies primarily on amino acid catabolism, rather than on sugar fermentation, for carbon and energy. Understanding the biochemical and physical processes that allow the bacterium to survive in Loihi’s deep sea vents may reveal novel processes and proteins of biotechnological, medical or industrial importance.

Contact information
Name: John Smith
Tel: (808) 956-9669


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Updated: August 29, 2005