Ancient Microbial “Dark Matter” – Thousands of Unknown Bacterial Species


Steve Smith in Hawaiian Cave

Steve Smith in a Hawaiian cave passage filled with roots of the Kaʻu district on the Island of Hawai`i. Credit: Kenneth Ingham

Centuries-Old Lava Caves of Hawaiʻi Island Contain Thousands of Unknown Bacterial Species

Higher bacterial diversity than scientists expected has been uncovered in the lava caves, lava tubes, and geothermal vents on the big island of Hawaiʻi. The findings have been reported in a new study published today (July 21, 2022) in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

This research investigates the variety and interactions within these microbial ecosystems, which illustrate how life may have existed on

“This study points to the possibility that more ancient lineages of bacteria, like the phylum Chloroflexi, may have important ecological ‘jobs,’ or roles,” said first author Dr. Rebecca D Prescott of Ancient Microbial “Dark Matter” – Thousands of Unknown Bacterial Species

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More