Slow-growing subseafloor microbes

Researchers incubated Miocene-aged coal and shale samples collected from 2 kilometers below the seafloor near Japan and found that the microbial community in the samples could metabolize methylated substrates at 45 °C and doubled at a rate that ranged from several months to more than 100 years, representing a population of extremely slow-growing heterotrophs that can use a range of carbon and nitrogen sources.

Article #17-07525: “Methyl-compound use and slow growth characterize microbial life in 2-km-deep subseafloor coal and shale beds,” by Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert et al.