The researches on deep-sea and subsurface organisms attract tremendous attentions recently from both biologists and geologists around the world, and soon become the research hotspot and focus. The basic scientific questions include the carbon cycling processes mediated by the “deep” organisms, their origin and evolution as well as the great potential to promote new technological innovation and unexpected recourses from deep-sea and subsurface biosphere. The formation of the new International Center for Deep Life Investigation (ICDLI) in China will provide a platform for continued international collaborations that seek to address key scientific issues including but not limited to:

  • Relationship and Interaction of deep life with surface life and their mediated carbon cycle
  • Characterizing the composition, accessibility, and amount of organic matter, electron acceptors, electron donors (energy compounds)
  • Determining temporal and geographical distribution patterns of microbial community compositions and how they control specific taxon abundance
  • Determining how energy flux, temperature, pressure define the limits of life
  • Exploring the diversity and function of the deep virosphere
  • Measuring evolutionary rates in the deep subsurface and their consequences