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Data report: cultivation of prokaryotes from subsurface marine sediments of the Baltic Sea (IODP Expedition 347)1

Martin Krüger2 and Axel Schippers2


Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 347 to the Baltic Sea in 2013 was in line with the IODP Science Plan main research theme “Deep biosphere responses to glacial–interglacial cycles,” addressing questions such as deep biosphere evolution, its biogeochemical processes, and how the postglacial diffusive penetration of conservative seawater ions may alter the chemical composition and microbial physiology in the subseafloor biosphere. Consequently, we tried to enrich indigenous microorganisms at in situ conditions using a broad range of electron acceptors (for fermenters; Fe, Mn, and sulfate reducers; and methanogens), simple and complex carbon substrates (in mixtures or as single compounds), and a wide range of culture conditions (temperature and salinity) to cover varying environmental conditions and metabolic requirements. The most successful were enrichment cultures with a mix of polymeric substrates, which proved to be successful for all samples investigated. Also, iron- and manganese-reducing organisms could be enriched from all sites, whereas nitrate as an electron acceptor did not work well. Methanogenic enrichments were only successful for a few of the samples investigated. In these cases, different monomeric as well as complex substrates were converted to methane, indicating a metabolically versatile indigenous microbial community in the sediments.

1 Krüger, M., and Schippers, A., 2017. Data report: cultivation of prokaryotes from subsurface marine sediments of the Baltic Sea (IODP Expedition 347). In Andrén, T., Jørgensen, B.B., Cotterill, C., Green, S., and the Expedition 347 Scientists, Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, 347: College Station, TX (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program).

2 Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover, Germany. Correspondence author:

Initial receipt: 20 October 2016
Acceptance: 22 February 2017
Publication: 25 April 2017
MS 347-201