Darwin’s Eye - Light at the Bottom of the Ocean 2001-01-2144
The objective of this work was to determine if chemoautotrophic organisms exist in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents, specifically organisms that have the capability to utilize non-solar electromagnetic radiation. The discriminating criteria used to make this determination was the existence of, or lack of, chlorophyllic compounds in these organisms.
Work conducted to this point indicates that pigment containing microbial species does exist within the hydrothermal vent microenvironment. Furthermore, it does appear that at least some of these pigments are bacteiochlorophylls. A question still remains unanswered, that is, are these organisms indigenous to the vent community or debris from surface environments?