Microbial diversity in sediments associated with a shallow methane seep in the tropical Timor Sea of Australia reveals a novel aerobic methanotroph diversity

Wasmund, Kenneth, Kurtböke, D. Ipek, Burns, Kathryn A., and Bourne, David G. (2009) Microbial diversity in sediments associated with a shallow methane seep in the tropical Timor Sea of Australia reveals a novel aerobic methanotroph diversity. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 68 (2). pp. 142-151.

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Abstract

This study examined the diversity of Bacteria, Archaea and in particular aerobic methanotrophs associated with a shallow (84 m) methane seep in the tropical Timor Sea, Australia. Seepage of thermogenic methane was associated with a large carbonate hardground covered in coarse carbonate-rich sediments and various benthic organisms such as solitary corals. The diversity of Bacteria and Archaea was studied by analysis of cloned 16S rRNA genes, while aerobic methanotrophic bacteria were quantified using real-time PCR targeting the alpha-subunit of particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) genes and diversity was studied by analysis of cloned pmoA genes. Phylogenetic analysis of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes revealed diverse and mostly novel phylotypes related to sequences previously recovered from marine sediments. A small number of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were related to aerobic methanotrophs distantly related to the genera Methylococcus and Methylocaldum. Real-time PCR targeting pmoA genes showed that the highest numbers of methanotrophs were present in surface sediments associated with the seep area. Phylogenetic analysis of pmoA sequences revealed that all phylotypes were novel and fell into two large clusters comprised of only marine sequences distantly related to the genera Methylococcus and Methylocaldum that were clearly divergent from terrestrial phylotypes. This study provides evidence for the existence of a novel microbial diversity and diverse aerobic methanotrophs that appear to constitute marine specialized lineages.

Item ID: 51139
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1574-6941
Keywords: methane seep, Timor Sea, pmoA, methanotrophs, real-time PCR, clone libraries
Funders: Australian Biological Resources Study, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 07:43
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060599 Microbiology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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