Geomicrobiology of prestine environments: Herrenberg cave Research
Karstic caves represent one of the most important subterranean carbon storages on Earth and provide windows into the subsurface. In the newly discovered Herrenberg Cave, Germany, Denise Akob and others were involved in investigating the diversity and potential role of bacteria in carbonate mineral formation (Rusznyak et al. submitted). In this work, microbial communities inhabiting stalactites and sediments were identified using DNA- and RNA-based 16S rRNA sequencing. Microbial carbonate precipitation was assessed using cultivation techniques combined with mineral analysis (e.g., Raman spectroscopy, EDX) and microscopy. The combination of various techniques was important for understanding the geomicrobiology of karstic caves and providing a first link between the geochemistry and microbial populations of the cave.