Culture-independent molecular techniques enable us to analyze microbial communities in various environments. Molecular methods can detect numerous uncultivable prokaryotes in extreme environments including anaerobic, no-light, high-pressure, and high-temperature conditions. Recently, microbial eukaryotes were detected in the deep-sea environments, suggesting that microbial eukaryotes can adapt to a wider range of conditions than previously thought. At the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory of Horonobe, Japan, we performed a culture-independent analysis of eukaryotes acquired at depths of −250 m and −270 m. Our results indicated that fungi are the dominant eukaryotic component in the deep sedimentary rocks of Horonobe. In the rock matrices, we detected a wide taxonomic range of fungi including Cryptomycota, Basidiomycota, and Ascomycota. This study is the first report on the diversity of eukaryotic species in deep terrestrial subsurface sedimentary rock matrices.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank reviewers for their insightful comments on the paper, as these comments led us to an improvement of the work. We would also like to thank Editage (www.editage.jp) for English language editing.