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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Apr 9;209(2):313-9.

Detection of methanotrophs with highly divergent pmoA genes from Arctic soils.

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Microbial and Enzyme Technology Group, Bioprocess Sector, Biotechnology Research Institute, National Research Council, 6100 Royalmount Ave., Montreal, QC H4P 2R2, Canada.


Tundra soil samples from the Canadian Arctic community, Kuujjuaq, were analyzed for the presence of the soluble (sMMO) and particulate (pMMO) methane monooxygenase genes. Total genomic DNA extracted from these soils was used as template for PCR using sMMO- and pMMO-specific primers, mmoX1-mmoX2 and A189-A682, respectively. pMMO and sMMO genes were detected in the Kuujjuaq soil samples. Isolation of sMMO-possessing methanotrophic microorganisms from the three soils, as determined by the colony naphthalene oxidation assay, was carried out using direct plating (5 degrees C) and methane enrichment studies (5 degrees C and 25 degrees C). Direct plating did not yield sMMO-possessing methanotrophic bacteria, whereas methane enrichments yielded isolates possessing and expressing sMMO activity. Analysis of derived amino acid sequences of pmoA genes and partial 16S rRNA genes obtained by PCR, using DNA isolated directly from this environment and from isolates, revealed the presence of highly divergent PmoA/AmoA sequences and 16S rRNA sequences that cluster closely with but are distinct from the genes from the genera Methylosinus and Methylocystis.

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