Microbial diversity of hydrothermal sediments in the Guaymas Basin: evidence for anaerobic methanotrophic communities.
ABSTRACT: Microbial communities in hydrothermally active sediments of the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico) were studied by using 16S rRNA sequencing and carbon isotopic analysis of archaeal and bacterial lipids. The Guaymas sediments harbored uncultured euryarchaeota of two distinct phylogenetic lineages within the anaerobic methane oxidation 1 (ANME-1) group, ANME-1a and ANME-1b, and of the ANME-2c lineage within the Methanosarcinales, both previously assigned to the methanotrophic archaea. The archaeal lipids in the Guaymas Basin sediments included archaeol, diagnostic for nonthermophilic euryarchaeota, and sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol, with the latter compound being particularly abundant in cultured members of the Methanosarcinales. The concentrations of these compounds were among the highest observed so far in studies of methane seep environments. The delta-(13)C values of these lipids (delta-(13)C = -89 to -58 per thousand) indicate an origin from anaerobic methanotrophic archaea. This molecular-isotopic signature was found not only in samples that yielded predominantly ANME-2 clones but also in samples that yielded exclusively ANME-1 clones. ANME-1 archaea therefore remain strong candidates for mediation of the anaerobic oxidation of methane. Based on 16S rRNA data, the Guaymas sediments harbor phylogenetically diverse bacterial populations, which show considerable overlap with bacterial populations of geothermal habitats and natural or anthropogenic hydrocarbon-rich sites. Consistent with earlier observations, our combined evidence from bacterial phylogeny and molecular-isotopic data indicates an important role of some novel deeply branching bacteria in anaerobic methanotrophy. Anaerobic methane oxidation likely represents a significant and widely occurring process in the trophic ecology of methane-rich hydrothermal vents. This study stresses a high diversity among communities capable of anaerobic oxidation of methane.
Project description:The hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin, an active spreading center in the Gulf of California (Mexico), are rich in porewater methane, short-chain alkanes, sulfate and sulfide, and provide a model system to explore habitat preferences of microorganisms, including sulfate-dependent, methane- and short chain alkane-oxidizing microbial communities. In this study, hot sediments (above 60°C) covered with sulfur-oxidizing microbial mats surrounding a hydrothermal mound (termed "Mat Mound") were characterized by porewater geochemistry of methane, C2-C6 short-chain alkanes, sulfate, sulfide, sulfate reduction rate measurements, in situ temperature gradients, bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and V6 tag pyrosequencing. The most abundantly detected groups in the Mat mound sediments include anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea of the ANME-1 lineage and its sister clade ANME-1Guaymas, the uncultured bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 within the Deltaproteobacteria and the separately branching HotSeep-1 Group; these uncultured bacteria are candidates for sulfate-reducing alkane oxidation and for sulfate-reducing syntrophy with ANME archaea. The archaeal dataset indicates distinct habitat preferences for ANME-1, ANME-1-Guaymas, and ANME-2 archaea in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. The bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 and HotSeep-1 co-occur with ANME-1 and ANME-1Guaymas in hydrothermally active sediments underneath microbial mats in Guaymas Basin. We propose the working hypothesis that this mixed bacterial and archaeal community catalyzes the oxidation of both methane and short-chain alkanes, and constitutes a microbial community signature that is characteristic for hydrothermal and/or cold seep sediments containing both substrates.
Project description:Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was investigated in hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin based on ?(13)C signatures of CH(4), dissolved inorganic carbon and porewater concentration profiles of CH(4) and sulfate. Cool, warm and hot in-situ temperature regimes (15-20?°C, 30-35?°C and 70-95?°C) were selected from hydrothermal locations in Guaymas Basin to compare AOM geochemistry and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), mcrA and dsrAB genes of the microbial communities. 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from the cool and hot AOM cores yielded similar archaeal types such as Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, Thermoproteales and anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME)-1; some of the ANME-1 archaea formed a separate 16S rRNA lineage that at present seems to be limited to Guaymas Basin. Congruent results were obtained by mcrA gene analysis. The warm AOM core, chemically distinct by lower porewater sulfide concentrations, hosted a different archaeal community dominated by the two deep subsurface archaeal lineages Marine Benthic Group D and Marine Benthic Group B, and by members of the Methanosarcinales including ANME-2 archaea. This distinct composition of the methane-cycling archaeal community in the warm AOM core was confirmed by mcrA gene analysis. Functional genes of sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea, dsrAB, showed more overlap between all cores, regardless of the core temperature. 16S rRNA gene clone libraries with Euryarchaeota-specific primers detected members of the Archaeoglobus clade in the cool and hot cores. A V6-tag high-throughput sequencing survey generally supported the clone library results while providing high-resolution detail on archaeal and bacterial community structure. These results indicate that AOM and the responsible archaeal communities persist over a wide temperature range.
Project description:Methane is a primary greenhouse gas which is responsible for global warming. The sulfate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (S-AOM) process catalyzed by anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is a vital link connecting the global carbon and sulfur cycles, and it is considered to be the overriding methane sink in marine ecosystem. However, there have been few studies regarding the role of S-AOM process and the distribution of ANME archaea in intertidal ecosystem. The intertidal zone is a buffer zone between sea and land and plays an important role in global geochemical cycle. In the present study, the abundance, potential methane oxidation rate, and community structure of ANME archaea in the intertidal zone were studied by quantitative PCR, stable isotope tracing method and high-throughput sequencing. The results showed that the potential S-AOM activity ranged from 0 to 0.77?nmol 13CO2 g-1 (dry sediment) day-1 The copy number of 16S rRNA gene of ANME archaea reached 106 ? 107 copies g-1 (dry sediment). The average contribution of S-AOM to total anaerobic methane oxidation was up to 34.5%, while denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation accounted for the rest, which implied that S-AOM process was an essential methane sink that cannot be overlooked in intertidal ecosystem. The simulated column experiments also indicated that ANME archaea were sensitive to oxygen and preferred anaerobic environmental conditions. This study will help us gain a better understanding of the global carbon-sulfur cycle and greenhouse gas emission reduction and introduce a new perspective into the enrichment of ANME archaea.IMPORTANCE The sulfate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (S-AOM) process catalyzed by anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is a vital link connecting the global carbon and sulfur cycles. We conducted a research into the spatial-temporal pattern of S-AOM process and the distribution of ANME archaea in coastal sediments collected from the intertidal zone. The results implied that S-AOM process was a methane sink that cannot be overlooked in the intertidal ecosystem. We also found that ANME archaea were sensitive to oxygen and preferred anaerobic environmental conditions. This study will help us gain a better understanding of the global carbon-sulfur cycle and greenhouse gas emission reduction and introduce a new perspective into the enrichment of ANME archaea.
Project description:The oxidation of methane in anoxic marine sediments is thought to be mediated by a consortium of methane-consuming archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria. In this study, we compared results of rRNA gene (rDNA) surveys and lipid analyses of archaea and bacteria associated with methane seep sediments from several different sites on the Californian continental margin. Two distinct archaeal lineages (ANME-1 and ANME-2), peripherally related to the order Methanosarcinales, were consistently associated with methane seep marine sediments. The same sediments contained abundant (13)C-depleted archaeal lipids, indicating that one or both of these archaeal groups are members of anaerobic methane-oxidizing consortia. (13)C-depleted lipids and the signature 16S rDNAs for these archaeal groups were absent in nearby control sediments. Concurrent surveys of bacterial rDNAs revealed a predominance of delta-proteobacteria, in particular, close relatives of Desulfosarcina variabilis. Biomarker analyses of the same sediments showed bacterial fatty acids with strong (13)C depletion that are likely products of these sulfate-reducing bacteria. Consistent with these observations, whole-cell fluorescent in situ hybridization revealed aggregations of ANME-2 archaea and sulfate-reducing Desulfosarcina and Desulfococcus species. Additionally, the presence of abundant (13)C-depleted ether lipids, presumed to be of bacterial origin but unrelated to ether lipids of members of the order Desulfosarcinales, suggests the participation of additional bacterial groups in the methane-oxidizing process. Although the Desulfosarcinales and ANME-2 consortia appear to participate in the anaerobic oxidation of methane in marine sediments, our data suggest that other bacteria and archaea are also involved in methane oxidation in these environments.
Project description:ANaerobic MEthanotrophic (ANME) archaea remove the greenhouse gas methane from anoxic environments and diminish its flux to the atmosphere. High methane removal efficiencies are well documented in marine environments, whereas anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was only recently indicated as an important methane sink in freshwater systems. Freshwater AOM-mediating microorganisms lack taxonomic identification and only little is known about metabolic adaptions to prevailing biogeochemical conditions. One of the first study sites providing information about AOM activity in freshwater sediment is Lake Ørn, a low-sulfate, iron-rich Danish lake. With the aim to identify freshwater AOM-mediating archaea, we incubated AOM-active anoxic, nitrate-free freshwater sediment from Lake Ørn with 13C-labeled methane (13CCH4) and 13C-labeled bicarbonate (13CDIC) and followed the assimilation of 13C into RNA by stable isotope probing. While AOM was active, 13CCH4 and probably also 13CDIC were incorporated into uncultured archaea of the Methanosarcinales-related cluster ANME-2d, whereas other known ANME lineages were not detected. This finding strongly suggests that ANME-2d archaea perform AOM coupled to sulfate and/or iron reduction and may have the capability of mixed assimilation of CH4 and DIC. ANME-2d archaea may thus play an important role in controlling methane emissions from nitrate-depleted and low-sulfate freshwater systems.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Methane oxidizing prokaryotes in marine sediments are believed to function as a methane filter reducing the oceanic contribution to the global methane emission. In the anoxic parts of the sediments, oxidation of methane is accomplished by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) living in syntrophy with sulphate reducing bacteria. This anaerobic oxidation of methane is assumed to be a coupling of reversed methanogenesis and dissimilatory sulphate reduction. Where oxygen is available aerobic methanotrophs take part in methane oxidation. In this study, we used metagenomics to characterize the taxonomic and metabolic potential for methane oxidation at the Tonya seep in the Coal Oil Point area, California. Two metagenomes from different sediment depth horizons (0-4 cm and 10-15 cm below sea floor) were sequenced by 454 technology. The metagenomes were analysed to characterize the distribution of aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophic taxa at the two sediment depths. To gain insight into the metabolic potential the metagenomes were searched for marker genes associated with methane oxidation. RESULTS: Blast searches followed by taxonomic binning in MEGAN revealed aerobic methanotrophs of the genus Methylococcus to be overrepresented in the 0-4 cm metagenome compared to the 10-15 cm metagenome. In the 10-15 cm metagenome, ANME of the ANME-1 clade, were identified as the most abundant methanotrophic taxon with 8.6% of the reads. Searches for particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) and methyl-coenzyme M reductase (mcrA), marker genes for aerobic and anaerobic oxidation of methane respectively, identified pmoA in the 0-4 cm metagenome as Methylococcaceae related. The mcrA reads from the 10-15 cm horizon were all classified as originating from the ANME-1 clade. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the taxa detected were present in both metagenomes and differences in community structure and corresponding metabolic potential between the two samples were mainly due to abundance differences. The results suggests that the Tonya Seep sediment is a robust methane filter, where taxa presently dominating this process could be replaced by less abundant methanotrophic taxa in case of changed environmental conditions.
Project description:The consumption of methane in anoxic marine sediments is a biogeochemical phenomenon mediated by two archaeal groups (ANME-1 and ANME-2) that exist syntrophically with sulfate-reducing bacteria. These anaerobic methanotrophs have yet to be recovered in pure culture, and key aspects of their ecology and physiology remain poorly understood. To characterize the growth and physiology of these anaerobic methanotrophs and the syntrophic sulfate-reducing bacteria, we incubated marine sediments using an anoxic, continuous-flow bioreactor during two experiments at different advective porewater flow rates. We examined the growth kinetics of anaerobic methanotrophs and Desulfosarcina-like sulfate-reducing bacteria using quantitative PCR as a proxy for cell counts, and measured methane oxidation rates using membrane-inlet mass spectrometry. Our data show that the specific growth rates of ANME-1 and ANME-2 archaea differed in response to porewater flow rates. ANME-2 methanotrophs had the highest rates in lower-flow regimes (mu(ANME-2) = 0.167 . week(-1)), whereas ANME-1 methanotrophs had the highest rates in higher-flow regimes (mu(ANME-1) = 0.218 . week(-1)). In both incubations, Desulfosarcina-like sulfate-reducing bacterial growth rates were approximately 0.3 . week(-1), and their growth dynamics suggested that sulfate-reducing bacterial growth might be facilitated by, but not dependent upon, an established anaerobic methanotrophic population. ANME-1 growth rates corroborate field observations that ANME-1 archaea flourish in higher-flow regimes. Our growth and methane oxidation rates jointly demonstrate that anaerobic methanotrophs are capable of attaining substantial growth over a range of environmental conditions used in these experiments, including relatively low methane partial pressures.
Project description:Thawing submarine permafrost is a source of methane to the subsurface biosphere. Methane oxidation in submarine permafrost sediments has been proposed, but the responsible microorganisms remain uncharacterized. We analyzed archaeal communities and identified distinct anaerobic methanotrophic assemblages of marine and terrestrial origin (ANME-2a/b, ANME-2d) both in frozen and completely thawed submarine permafrost sediments. Besides archaea potentially involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) we found a large diversity of archaea mainly belonging to Bathyarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Euryarchaeota. Methane concentrations and ?13C-methane signatures distinguish horizons of potential AOM coupled either to sulfate reduction in a sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) or to the reduction of other electron acceptors, such as iron, manganese or nitrate. Analysis of functional marker genes (mcrA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) corroborate potential activity of AOM communities in submarine permafrost sediments at low temperatures. Modeled potential AOM consumes 72-100% of submarine permafrost methane and up to 1.2?Tg of carbon per year for the total expected area of submarine permafrost. This is comparable with AOM habitats such as cold seeps. We thus propose that AOM is active where submarine permafrost thaws, which should be included in global methane budgets.
Project description:The anaerobic oxidation of methane by anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea in syntrophic partnership with deltaproteobacterial sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is the primary mechanism for methane removal in ocean sediments. The mechanism of their syntrophy has been the subject of much research as traditional intermediate compounds, such as hydrogen and formate, failed to decouple the partners. Recent findings have indicated the potential for extracellular electron transfer from ANME archaea to SRB, though it is unclear how extracellular electrons are integrated into the metabolism of the SRB partner. We used metagenomics to reconstruct eight genomes from the globally distributed SEEP-SRB1 clade of ANME partner bacteria to determine what genomic features are required for syntrophy. The SEEP-SRB1 genomes contain large multiheme cytochromes that were not found in previously described free-living SRB and also lack periplasmic hydrogenases that may prevent an independent lifestyle without an extracellular source of electrons from ANME archaea. Metaproteomics revealed the expression of these cytochromes at in situ methane seep sediments from three sites along the Pacific coast of the United States. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these cytochromes appear to have been horizontally transferred from metal-respiring members of the Deltaproteobacteria such as Geobacter and may allow these syntrophic SRB to accept extracellular electrons in place of other chemical/organic electron donors.IMPORTANCE Some archaea, known as anaerobic methanotrophs, are capable of converting methane into carbon dioxide when they are growing syntopically with sulfate-reducing bacteria. This partnership is the primary mechanism for methane removal in ocean sediments; however, there is still much to learn about how this syntrophy works. Previous studies have failed to identify the metabolic intermediate, such as hydrogen or formate, that is passed between partners. However, recent analysis of methanotrophic archaea has suggested that the syntrophy is formed through direct electron transfer. In this research, we analyzed the genomes of multiple partner bacteria and showed that they also contain the genes necessary to perform extracellular electron transfer, which are absent in related bacteria that do not form syntrophic partnerships with anaerobic methanotrophs. This genomic evidence shows a possible mechanism for direct electron transfer from methanotrophic archaea into the metabolism of the partner bacteria.
Project description:In marine sediments the anaerobic oxidation of methane with sulfate as electron acceptor (AOM) is responsible for the removal of a major part of the greenhouse gas methane. AOM is performed by consortia of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and their specific partner bacteria. The physiology of these organisms is poorly understood, which is due to their slow growth with doubling times in the order of months and the phylogenetic diversity in natural and in vitro AOM enrichments. Here we study sediment-free long-term AOM enrichments that were cultivated from seep sediments sampled off the Italian Island Elba (20°C; hereon called E20) and from hot vents of the Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California, cultivated at 37°C (G37) or at 50°C (G50). These enrichments were dominated by consortia of ANME-2 archaea and Seep-SRB2 partner bacteria (E20) or by ANME-1, forming consortia with Seep-SRB2 bacteria (G37) or with bacteria of the HotSeep-1 cluster (G50). We investigate lipid membrane compositions as possible factors for the different temperature affinities of the different ANME clades and show autotrophy as characteristic feature for both ANME clades and their partner bacteria. Although in the absence of additional substrates methane formation was not observed, methanogenesis from methylated substrates (methanol and methylamine) could be quickly stimulated in the E20 and the G37 enrichment. Responsible for methanogenesis are archaea from the genus Methanohalophilus and Methanococcoides, which are minor community members during AOM (1-7‰ of archaeal 16S rRNA gene amplicons). In the same two cultures also sulfur disproportionation could be quickly stimulated by addition of zero-valent colloidal sulfur. The isolated partner bacteria are likewise minor community members (1-9‰ of bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons), whereas the dominant partner bacteria (Seep-SRB1a, Seep-SRB2, or HotSeep-1) did not grow on elemental sulfur. Our results support a functioning of AOM as syntrophic interaction of obligate methanotrophic archaea that transfer non-molecular reducing equivalents (i.e., via direct interspecies electron transfer) to obligate sulfate-reducing partner bacteria. Additional katabolic processes in these enrichments but also in sulfate methane interfaces are likely performed by minor community members.