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Microorganisms. 2015 Apr 2;3(2):113-36. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms3020113.

High Throughput Sequencing to Detect Differences in Methanotrophic Methylococcaceae and Methylocystaceae in Surface Peat, Forest Soil, and Sphagnum Moss in Cranesville Swamp Preserve, West Virginia, USA.

Author information

1
Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, West Liberty University, 208 University Drive, CUB#139, West Liberty, WV 26074, USA. evan.lau@westliberty.edu.
2
Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, West Liberty University, 208 University Drive, CUB#139, West Liberty, WV 26074, USA.
3
Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, West Liberty University, 208 University Drive, CUB#139, West Liberty, WV 26074, USA. zwdillard@westliberty.edu.
4
Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, West Liberty University, 208 University Drive, CUB#139, West Liberty, WV 26074, USA. RDAGUE@westliberty.edu.
5
Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, West Liberty University, 208 University Drive, CUB#139, West Liberty, WV 26074, USA. amandasemple1@gmail.com.
6
Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, West Liberty University, 208 University Drive, CUB#139, West Liberty, WV 26074, USA. wlwentzell@westliberty.edu.

Abstract

Northern temperate forest soils and Sphagnum-dominated peatlands are a major source and sink of methane. In these ecosystems, methane is mainly oxidized by aerobic methanotrophic bacteria, which are typically found in aerated forest soils, surface peat, and Sphagnum moss. We contrasted methanotrophic bacterial diversity and abundances from the (i) organic horizon of forest soil; (ii) surface peat; and (iii) submerged Sphagnum moss from Cranesville Swamp Preserve, West Virginia, using multiplex sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA (V3 region) gene amplicons. From ~1 million reads, >50,000 unique OTUs (Operational Taxonomic Units), 29 and 34 unique sequences were detected in the Methylococcaceae and Methylocystaceae, respectively, and 24 potential methanotrophs in the Beijerinckiaceae were also identified. Methylacidiphilum-like methanotrophs were not detected. Proteobacterial methanotrophic bacteria constitute <2% of microbiota in these environments, with the Methylocystaceae one to two orders of magnitude more abundant than the Methylococcaceae in all environments sampled. The Methylococcaceae are also less diverse in forest soil compared to the other two habitats. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analyses indicated that the majority of methanotrophs from the Methylococcaceae and Methylocystaceae tend to occur in one habitat only (peat or Sphagnum moss) or co-occurred in both Sphagnum moss and peat. This study provides insights into the structure of methanotrophic communities in relationship to habitat type, and suggests that peat and Sphagnum moss can influence methanotroph community structure and biogeography.

KEYWORDS:

Evenness; Illumina® MiSeq; Methanotrophic bacteria; Methylococcaceae; Methylocystaceae; Nonmetric multidimensional scaling; Shannon-Weiner Index; Sphagnum moss; biogeography; high throughput sequencing; microbial ecology; multiplex sequencing; peatlands; surface peat; upland forest soils

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