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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Apr;63(4):1199-207.

Activity and Distribution of Methane-Oxidizing Bacteria in Flooded Rice Soil Microcosms and in Rice Plants (Oryza sativa).


The activity and distribution of CH(inf4)-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) in flooded rice (Oryza sativa) soil microcosms was investigated. CH(inf4) oxidation was shown to occur in undisturbed microcosms by using (sup14)CH(inf4), and model calculations indicated that almost 90% of the oxidation measured had taken place at a depth where only roots could provide the O(inf2) necessary. Slurry from soil planted with rice had an apparent K(infm) for CH(inf4) of 4 (mu)M and a V(infmax) of 0.1 (mu)mol g (dry weight)(sup-1) h(sup-1). At a depth of 1 to 2 cm, there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in numbers of MOB between soil from planted and nonplanted microcosms (mean, 7.7 x 10(sup5) g [fresh weight](sup-1)). Thus, the densely rooted soil at 1 to 2 cm deep did not represent rhizospheric soil with respect to the number of MOB. A significantly increased number of MOB was found only in soil immediately around the roots (1.2 x 10(sup6) g [fresh weight](sup-1)), corresponding to a layer of 0.1 to 0.2 mm. Plant-associated CH(inf4) oxidation was shown in a double chamber with carefully washed intact rice plants. Up to 90% of the CH(inf4) supplied to the root compartment was oxidized in the plants. CH(inf4) oxidation on isolated roots was higher and had a larger variability than that in soil slurries. Roots had an apparent K(infm) for CH(inf4) of 6 (mu)M and a V(infmax) of 5 (mu)mol g (dry weight)(sup-1) h(sup-1). The average number of MOB in homogenized roots was larger than on the rhizoplane and increased with plant age. MOB also were found in surface-sterilized roots and basal culms, indicating the ability of these bacteria to colonize the interior of roots and culms.

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