Banfield Laboratory

University of California, Berkeley

Terrestrial Deep Subsurface Biosphere in Japan

The terrestrial deep subsurface represents a vast, yet poorly understood environment for microbial life. In this project, research is focused on exploring the diversity of life in the deep subsurface as well as the microbial impacts on biogeochemical cycles and implications for proposed geological disposal of high-level radionuclide waste in Japan.


To better understand this habitat, we are using metagenomics alongside multi-year geochemical monitoring and 16S rRNA analysis as obtained from two underground research laboratories at Horonobe and Mizunami field sites. This project is a collaborative effort with Yuki Amano (Japan Atomic Energy Agency) and researchers from Yohey Suzuki's group (University of Tokyo).