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Shifts in Identity and Activity of Methanotrophs in Arctic Lake Sediments in Response to Temperature Changes

TitleShifts in Identity and Activity of Methanotrophs in Arctic Lake Sediments in Response to Temperature Changes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHe, R, Wooller, MJ, Pohlman, JW, Quensen, J, Tiedje, JM, Leigh, MBeth
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology

Methane (CH4) flux to the atmosphere is mitigated via microbial CH4 oxidation in sediments and water. As arctic temperaturesincrease, understanding the effects of temperature on the activity and identity of methanotrophs in arctic lake sediments is importantto predicting future CH4 emissions. We used DNA-based stable-isotope probing (SIP), quantitative PCR (Q-PCR), andpyrosequencing analyses to identify and characterize methanotrophic communities active at a range of temperatures (4°C, 10°C,and 21°C) in sediments (to a depth of 25 cm) sampled from Lake Qalluuraq on the North Slope of Alaska. CH4 oxidation activitywas measured in microcosm incubations containing sediments at all temperatures, with the highest CH4 oxidation potential of37.5 mol g1 day1 in the uppermost (depth, 0 to 1 cm) sediment at 21°C after 2 to 5 days of incubation. Q-PCR of pmoA and ofthe 16S rRNA genes of type I and type II methanotrophs, and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes in 13C-labeled DNA obtained bySIP demonstrated that the type I methanotrophs Methylobacter, Methylomonas, and Methylosoma dominated carbon acquisitionfrom CH4 in the sediments. The identity and relative abundance of active methanotrophs differed with the incubation temperature.Methylotrophs were also abundant in the microbial community that derived carbon from CH4, especially in the deeper sediments(depth, 15 to 20 cm) at low temperatures (4°C and 10°C), and showed a good linear relationship (R0.82) with the relativeabundances of methanotrophs in pyrosequencing reads. This study describes for the first time how methanotrophiccommunities in arctic lake sediments respond to temperature variations.

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