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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2005 Jun 1;53(1):15-26.

Aerobic methanotrophic bacteria of cold ecosystems.

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1
G.K. Skryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms RAS, Prospect Nauki 5, Pushchino, Moscow region 142290, Russia. trotsenko@pushchino.ru

Abstract

This review summarizes the recent advances in understanding the ecophysiological role and structure-function features of methanotrophic bacteria living in various cold ecosystems. The occurrence of methanotrophs in a majority of psychrosphere sites was verified by direct measurement of their methane-utilizing activity, by electron microscopy and immunofluorescent observations, and analyses of specific signatures in cellular phospholipids and total DNAs extracted from environmental samples. Surprisingly, the phenotypic and genotypic markers of virtually all extant methanotrophs were detected in various cold habitats, such as underground waters, Northern taiga and tundra soils, polar lakes and permafrost sediments. Also, recent findings indicated that even after long-term storage in permafrost, some methanotrophs can oxidize and assimilate methane not only at positive but also at subzero temperatures. Pure cultures of psychrophilic and psychrotolerant methanotrophs were isolated and characterized as new genera and species: Methylobacter psychrophilus, Methylosphaera hansonii, Methylocella palustris, Methylocella silvestris, Methylocella tundrae, Methylocapsa acidiphila and Methylomonas scandinavica. However, our knowledge about their adaptive mechanisms and survival in cold ecosystems remains limited and needs to be established using both traditional and molecular microbiological methods.

PMID:
16329925
DOI:
10.1016/j.femsec.2005.02.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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