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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2002 Aug;25(2):267-74.

Diversity of the particulate methane monooxygenase gene in methanotrophic samples from different rice field soils in China and the Philippines.

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Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Marburg, Germany.


Methanotrophic bacteria play a crucial role in regulating the emission of CH4 from rice fields into the atmosphere. We investigated the CH4 oxidation activity together with the diversity of methanotrophic bacteria in ten rice field soils from different geographic locations. Upon incubation of aerated soil slurries under 7% CH4, rates of CH4 oxidation increased after a lag phase of 1-4 days and reached values of 3-10 micromol d(-1) g-dw(-1) soil. The methanotrophic community was assayed by retrieval of the pmoA gene which encodes the a subunit of the particulate methane monooxygenase. After extraction of DNA from actively CH4-oxidizing soil samples and PCR-amplification of the pmoA, the community was analyzed by Denaturant Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) and Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP). DGGE bands were excised, the pmoA re-amplified, sequenced and the encoded amino acid sequence comparatively analyzed by phylogenetic treeing. The analyses allowed the detection of pmoA sequences related to the following methanotrophic genera: the type-I methanotrophs Methylobacter, Methylomicrobium, Methylococcus and Methylocaldum, and the type-II methanotrophs Methylocystis and Methylosinus. T-RFLP analysis detected a similar diversity, but type-II pmoA more frequently than DGGE. All soils but one contained type-II in addition to type-I methanotrophs. Type-I Methylomonas was not detected at all. Different combinations of methanotrophic genera were detected in the different soils. However, there was no obvious geographic pattern of the distribution of methanotrophs.

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