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Planktonic and sediment-associated aerobic methanotrophs in two seep systems along the North American margin

Tavormina, Patricia L. and Ussler, William, III and Orphan, Victoria J. (2008) Planktonic and sediment-associated aerobic methanotrophs in two seep systems along the North American margin. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 74 (13). pp. 3985-3995. ISSN 0099-2240. PMCID PMC2446507.

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Methane vents are of significant geochemical and ecological importance. Notable progress has been made towards understanding anaerobic methane oxidation in marine sediments, however, the diversity and distribution of aerobic methanotrophs in the water column are poorly characterized. Both environments play an essential role in regulating methane release from the oceans to the atmosphere. In this study, the diversity of particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) and 16S rRNA genes from two methane vent environments along the California continental margin was characterized. The pmoA phylotypes recovered from methane-rich sediments and the overlying water column differed. Sediments harbored the greatest number of unique pmoA phylotypes broadly affiliated with the Methylococcaceae family, whereas planktonic pmoA phylotypes formed three clades that were distinct from the sediment-hosted methanotrophs, and distantly related to established methanotrophic clades. Water-column associated phylotypes were highly similar between field sites, suggesting that planktonic methanotroph diversity is controlled primarily by environmental factors rather than geographical proximity. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes from methane-rich waters did not readily recover known methanotrophic lineages, with only a few phylotypes demonstrating distant relatedness to Methylococcus. The development of new pmo primers increased the recovery of monooxygenase genes from the water column and led to the discovery of a highly diverged monooxygenase sequence which is phylogenetically intermediate to Amo and pMMO. This sequence potentiates insight into the amo/pmo superfamily. Together, these findings lend perspective into the diversity and segregation of aerobic methanotrophs within different methane-rich habitats in the marine environment.

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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Orphan, Victoria J.0000-0002-5374-6178
Additional Information:Copyright © 2008, American Society for Microbiology. Received 9 January 2008/ Accepted 8 May 2008. AEM Accepts, published online ahead of print on 16 May 2008. We are grateful to M. Lidstrom and M. Kalyuzhnaya (University of Washington) and D. Arp and N. Hommes (Oregon State University) for providing reference strains and S. Goffredi, S. Ussler, and A. Bures for technical assistance with various aspects of this work. We also thank S. Goffredi, D. Fike, C. Gammon, and A. Dekas for critical reading of the manuscript and constructive insight. We are indebted to the pilots of the ROV Tiburon and the crew and shipboard research party of the research vessel Western Flyer on a cruise sponsored by NOAA-NURP in 2005. We also thank three anonymous reviewers for their comments. This work was made possible by grants from NASA (NNG06GB34G), NOAA (UAF 05-0132), the National Science Foundation (MCB-0348492), and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (V.J.O.) and by the support provided to MBARI by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation (W.U.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)UAF 05-0132
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucille Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:13
PubMed Central ID:PMC2446507
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:TAVaem08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10569
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:19 May 2008
Last Modified:12 Dec 2019 17:07

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