Send to

Choose Destination
ISME J. 2008 Oct;2(10):1066-76. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2008.59. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Isolation of Streptomyces sp. PCB7, the first microorganism demonstrating high-affinity uptake of tropospheric H2.

Author information

INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Laval, Qu├ębec, Canada.


Microbial-mediated soil uptake accounts for approximately 80% of the global tropospheric dihydrogen (H(2)) sinks. Studies conducted over the last three decades provide indirect evidences that H(2) soil uptake is mediated by free soil hydrogenases or by unknown microorganisms that have a high affinity for H(2). The exact nature of these hypothetical free soil enzymes or of H(2)-consuming microorganisms remains elusive because the activity has never been observed in pure culture. Here, we present the first aerobic microorganism able to consume tropospheric H(2) at ambient levels. A dynamic microcosm chamber was developed to enrich a microbial consortium with a high affinity for H(2), from which selected bacterial and fungal strains were isolated and tested for H(2) uptake. Strain PCB7 had a H(2) consumption activity that followed a Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with an apparent K(m) of 11 p.p.m.v. and a H(2) threshold concentration <0.100 p.p.m.v., corresponding to the high-affinity uptake of tropospheric H(2) observed in soil. 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences showed that strain PCB7 is highly related to several Streptomyces species. H(2) consumption occurred during the sporulation period of the bacterium. Addition of nickel increased the activity, suggesting that the enzymes involved in H(2) consumption belong to the NiFe uptake class of hydrogenases. Because this is the first microorganism showing a high-affinity uptake of tropospheric H(2), we anticipate that Streptomyces sp. PCB7 will become a model organism for the understanding of the environmental factors influencing H(2) soil uptake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center