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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2015 Dec;91(12). pii: fiv126. doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiv126. Epub 2015 Oct 22.

Confocal Raman microspectroscopy reveals a convergence of the chemical composition in methanogenic archaea from a Siberian permafrost-affected soil.

Author information

1
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, Section Geomicrobiology, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Telegrafenberg A45 14473 Potsdam, Germany.
2
Robert Koch Institute, Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, Nordufer 20 13353 Berlin, Germany.
3
German Aerospace Center (DLR) Berlin, Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstraße 2 12489 Berlin, Germany.
4
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, Section Geomicrobiology, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany.
5
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, Section Geomicrobiology, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany Dirk.Wagner@gfz-potsdam.de.

Abstract

Methanogenic archaea are widespread anaerobic microorganisms responsible for the production of biogenic methane. Several new species of psychrotolerant methanogenic archaea were recently isolated from a permafrost-affected soil in the Lena Delta (Siberia, Russia), showing an exceptional resistance against desiccation, osmotic stress, low temperatures, starvation, UV and ionizing radiation when compared to methanogens from non-permafrost environments. To gain a deeper insight into the differences observed in their resistance, we described the chemical composition of methanogenic strains from permafrost and non-permafrost environments using confocal Raman microspectroscopy (CRM). CRM is a powerful tool for microbial identification and provides fingerprint-like information about the chemical composition of the cells. Our results show that the chemical composition of methanogens from permafrost-affected soils presents a high homology and is remarkably different from strains inhabiting non-permafrost environments. In addition, we performed a phylogenetic reconstruction of the studied strains based on the functional gene mcrA to prove the different evolutionary relationship of the permafrost strains. We conclude that the permafrost methanogenic strains show a convergent chemical composition regardless of their genotype. This fact is likely to be the consequence of a complex adaptive process to the Siberian permafrost environment and might be the reason underlying their resistant nature.

KEYWORDS:

Siberian permafrost; chemical composition; confocal Raman microspectroscopy; environmental adaptations; mcrA; methanogenic archaea

PMID:
26499486
DOI:
10.1093/femsec/fiv126
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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