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Microbial interactions in the anaerobic oxidation of methane: Model simulations constrained by process rates and activity patterns

He, Xiaojia and Chadwick, Grayson and Kempes, Christopher and Shi, Yimeng and McGlynn, Shawn and Orphan, Victoria and Meile, Christof (2019) Microbial interactions in the anaerobic oxidation of methane: Model simulations constrained by process rates and activity patterns. Environmental Microbiology, 21 (2). pp. 631-647. ISSN 1462-2912. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.14507.

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Proposed syntrophic interactions between the archaeal and bacterial cells mediating anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled with sulfate reduction include electron transfer through (1) the exchange of H2 or small organic molecules between methane‐oxidizing archaea and sulfate‐reducing bacteria, (2) the delivery of disulfide from methane‐oxidizing archaea to bacteria for disproportionation and (3) direct interspecies electron transfer. Each of these mechanisms was implemented in a reactive transport model. The simulated activities across different arrangements of archaeal and bacterial cells and aggregate sizes were compared to empirical data for AOM rates and intra‐aggregate spatial patterns of cell‐specific anabolic activity determined by FISH‐nanoSIMS. Simulation results showed that rates for chemical diffusion by mechanism (1) were limited by the build‐up of metabolites, while mechanisms (2) and (3) yielded cell specific rates and archaeal activity distributions that were consistent with observations from single cell resolved FISH‐nanoSIMS analyses. The novel integration of both intra‐aggregate and environmental data provided powerful constraints on the model results, but the similarities in model outcomes for mechanisms (2) and (3) highlight the need for additional observational data (e.g. genomic or physiological) on electron transfer and metabolic functioning of these globally important methanotrophic consortia.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
He, Xiaojia0000-0001-8274-5564
Chadwick, Grayson0000-0003-0700-9350
Kempes, Christopher0000-0002-1622-9761
McGlynn, Shawn0000-0002-8199-7011
Orphan, Victoria0000-0002-5374-6178
Meile, Christof0000-0002-0825-4596
Additional Information:© 2018 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Received 2 July, 2018; revised 4 December, 2018; accepted 4 December, 2018. This work was supported by the Genomic Sciences Program in the DOE Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research DE‐SC0016469. The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0016469
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190102-135257356
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:He, X. , Chadwick, G. , Kempes, C. , Shi, Y. , McGlynn, S. , Orphan, V. and Meile, C. (2019), Microbial interactions in the anaerobic oxidation of methane: model simulations constrained by process rates and activity patterns. Environ Microbiol, 21: 631-647. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.14507
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91996
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:03 Jan 2019 15:42
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:46

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