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Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jun;14(6):1403-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02725.x. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Identification of functionally active aerobic methanotrophs in sediments from an arctic lake using stable isotope probing.

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Department of Environmental Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.


Arctic lakes are a significant source of the greenhouse gas methane (CH(4) ), but the role that methane oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) play in limiting the overall CH(4) flux is poorly understood. Here, we used stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques to identify the metabolically active aerobic methanotrophs in upper sediments (0-1 cm) from an arctic lake in northern Alaska sampled during ice-free summer conditions. The highest CH(4) oxidation potential was observed in the upper sediment (0-1 cm depth) with 1.59 µmol g wet weight(-1) day(-1) compared with the deeper sediment samples (1-3 cm, 3-5 cm and 5-10 cm), which exhibited CH(4) oxidation potentials below 0.4 µmol g wet weight(-1) day(-1) . Both type I and type II methanotrophs were directly detected in the upper sediment total communities using targeted primer sets based on 16S rRNA genes. Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and functional genes (pmoA and mxaF) in the (13) C-DNA from the upper sediment indicated that type I methanotrophs, mainly Methylobacter, Methylosoma, Methylomonas and Methylovulum miyakonense, dominated the assimilation of CH(4) . Methylotrophs, including the genera Methylophilus and/or Methylotenera, were also abundant in the (13) C-DNA. Our results show that a diverse microbial consortium acquired carbon from CH(4) in the sediments of this arctic lake.

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