Qualitative expression of dissimilative sulfite reductase (dsrA), a key gene in sulfate reduction, and sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (sqr), a key gene in sulfide oxidation was investigated. Neither of the two could be amplified from mRNA retrieved with Niskin bottles but were amplified from mRNA retrieved by the Deep SID. The sqr and sqr-like genes retrieved from the Cariaco Basin were related to the sqr genes from a Bradyrhizobium sp., Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum, Sulfurovum sp. NBC37-1, Sulfurimonas autotrophica, Thiorhodospira sibirica and Chlorobium tepidum. The dsrA gene sequences obtained from the redoxcline of the Cariaco Basin belonged to chemoorganotrophic and chemoautotrophic sulfate and sulfur reducers belonging to the class Deltaproteobacteria (phylum Proteobacteria) and the order Clostridiales (phylum Firmicutes).