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Growth and Methane Oxidation Rates of Anaerobic Methanotrophic Archaea in a Continuous-Flow Bioreactor

Girguis, Peter R. and Orphan, Victoria J. and Hallam, Steven J. and DeLong, Edward F. (2003) Growth and Methane Oxidation Rates of Anaerobic Methanotrophic Archaea in a Continuous-Flow Bioreactor. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 69 (9). pp. 5472-5482. ISSN 0099-2240. PMCID PMC194967. doi:10.1128/AEM.69.9.5472-5482.2003.

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Anaerobic methanotrophic archaea have recently been identified in anoxic marine sediments, but have not yet been recovered in pure culture. Physiological studies on freshly collected samples containing archaea and their sulfate-reducing syntrophic partners have been conducted, but sample availability and viability can limit the scope of these experiments. To better study microbial anaerobic methane oxidation, we developed a novel continuous-flow anaerobic methane incubation system (AMIS) that simulates the majority of in situ conditions and supports the metabolism and growth of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea. We incubated sediments collected from within and outside a methane cold seep in Monterey Canyon, Calif., for 24 weeks on the AMIS system. Anaerobic methane oxidation was measured in all sediments after incubation on AMIS, and quantitative molecular techniques verified the increases in methane-oxidizing archaeal populations in both seep and nonseep sediments. Our results demonstrate that the AMIS system stimulated the maintenance and growth of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea, and possibly their syntrophic, sulfate-reducing partners. Our data demonstrate the utility of combining physiological and molecular techniques to quantify the growth and metabolic activity of anaerobic microbial consortia. Further experiments with the AMIS system should provide a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of methane oxidation in anoxic marine environments. The AMIS may also enable the enrichment, purification, and isolation of methanotrophic archaea as pure cultures or defined syntrophic consortia.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Orphan, Victoria J.0000-0002-5374-6178
Additional Information:Copyright © 2003, American Society for Microbiology. Received 28 March 2003/ Accepted 25 June 2003. Special thanks to James Childress for generously loaning equipment, Marcelino Suzuki for extensive assistance with quantitative PCR and collard green recipes, and Tori Hoehler for invaluable commentary and critique. Thanks to Christina Preston, Lynne Christianson, and Shana Goffredi for assistance and guidance with sequencing and Jose de la Torre for assistance with phylogenetic analysis. As always, special thanks to the crew and pilots of the RV Point Lobos and the ROV Ventana. This work was supported by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Packard Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research InstituteUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:9
PubMed Central ID:PMC194967
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:GIRaem03
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1595
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:01 Feb 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:11

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