Hidden Earth 2023

Snottites, Slime and Oozes – Derbyshire Mine Biofilms

30 minute Lecture|Jo White

Snottites, Slime and Oozes – Derbyshire Mine Biofilms


Jelly-like pendulous ‘snottites’, gelatinous oozes and mucoidal slimes, while sounding like something from a low-budget alien horror film, are descriptions of some of the biofilms found in Derbyshire mine environments.

We have studied three soughs that drain former lead mines in Derbyshire through collection of samples of the biofilms present. Within the project we have analysed the bacterial composition of these samples using metagenomic analyses and 16S rDNA sequencing coupled with analysis of the water chemistry to understand the relationship between the environment and biofilms present. Cultivation techniques have also been employed to try to isolate individual organisms to study their role within the environment. The results obtained to date provide an insight into the metabolic pathways and processes occurring in these biofilms, including sulphur cycling and iron oxidation.