A long-term cultivation of an anaerobic methane-oxidizing microbial community from deep-sea methane-seep sediment using a continuous-flow bioreactor.
ABSTRACT: Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments is an important global methane sink, but the physiological characteristics of AOM-associated microorganisms remain poorly understood. Here we report the cultivation of an AOM microbial community from deep-sea methane-seep sediment using a continuous-flow bioreactor with polyurethane sponges, called the down-flow hanging sponge (DHS) bioreactor. We anaerobically incubated deep-sea methane-seep sediment collected from the Nankai Trough, Japan, for 2,013 days in the bioreactor at 10°C. Following incubation, an active AOM activity was confirmed by a tracer experiment using 13C-labeled methane. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that phylogenetically diverse Archaea and Bacteria grew in the bioreactor. After 2,013 days of incubation, the predominant archaeal components were anaerobic methanotroph (ANME)-2a, Deep-Sea Archaeal Group, and Marine Benthic Group-D, and Gammaproteobacteria was the dominant bacterial lineage. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that ANME-1 and -2a, and most ANME-2c cells occurred without close physical interaction with potential bacterial partners. Our data demonstrate that the DHS bioreactor system is a useful system for cultivating fastidious methane-seep-associated sedimentary microorganisms.
Project description:The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a key biogeochemical process regulating methane emission from marine sediments into the hydrosphere. AOM is largely mediated by consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), and has mainly been investigated in deep-sea sediments. Here we studied methane seepage at four spots located at 12 m water depth in coastal, organic carbon depleted permeable sands off the Island of Elba (Italy). We combined biogeochemical measurements, sequencing-based community analyses and in situ hybridization to investigate the microbial communities of this environment. Increased alkalinity, formation of free sulfide and nearly stoichiometric methane oxidation and sulfate reduction rates up to 200 nmol g(-1) day(-1) indicated the predominance of sulfate-coupled AOM. With up to 40 cm thickness the zones of AOM activity were unusually large and occurred in deeper sediment horizons (20-50 cm below seafloor) as compared to diffusion-dominated deep-sea seeps, which is likely caused by advective flow of pore water due to the shallow water depth and permeability of the sands. Hydrodynamic forces also may be responsible for the substantial phylogenetic and unprecedented morphological diversity of AOM consortia inhabiting these sands, including the clades ANME-1a/b, ANME-2a/b/c, ANME-3, and their partner bacteria SEEP-SRB1a and SEEP-SRB2. High microbial dispersal, the availability of diverse energy sources and high habitat heterogeneity might explain that the emission spots shared few microbial taxa, despite their physical proximity. Although the biogeochemistry of this shallow methane seep was very different to that of deep-sea seeps, their key functional taxa were very closely related, which supports the global dispersal of key taxa and underlines strong selection by methane as the predominant energy source. Mesophilic, methane-fueled ecosystems in shallow-water permeable sediments may comprise distinct microbial habitats due to their unique biogeochemical and physical characteristics. To link AOM phylotypes with seep habitats and to enable future meta-analyses we thus propose that seep environment ontology needs to be further specified.
Project description:Methane seeps are widespread seafloor ecosystems shaped by complex physicochemical-biological interactions over geological timescales, and seep microbiomes play a vital role in global biogeochemical cycling of key elements on Earth. However, the mechanisms underlying the coexistence of methane-cycling microbial communities remain largely elusive. Here, high-resolution sediment incubation experiments revealed a cryptic methane cycle in the South China Sea (SCS) methane seep ecosystem, showing the coexistence of sulfate (SO4 2-)- or iron (Fe)-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and methylotrophic methanogenesis. This previously unrecognized methane cycling is not discernible from geochemical profiles due to high net methane consumption. High-throughput sequencing and Catalyzed Reporter Deposition-Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (CARD-FISH) results suggested that anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME)-2 and -3 coupled to sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) carried out SO4 2--AOM, and alternative ANME-2 and -3 solely or coupled to iron-reducing bacteria (IRB) might participate in Fe-AOM in sulfate-depleted environments. This finding suggested that ANME could alter AOM metabolic pathways according to geochemical changes. Furthermore, the majority of methylotrophic methanogens belonged to Methanimicrococcus, and hydrogenotrophic and acetoclastic methanogens were likely inhibited by sulfate or iron respiration. Fe-AOM and methylotrophic methanogenesis are overlooked potential sources and sinks of methane in methane seep ecosystems, thus influencing methane budgets and even the global carbon budget in the ocean.
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.
Project description:A cold methane seep was discovered in a forearc sediment basin off the island Sumatra, exhibiting a methane-seep adapted microbial community. A defined seep center of activity, like in mud volcanoes, was not discovered. The seep area was rather characterized by a patchy distribution of active spots. The relevance of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was reflected by (13)C-depleted isotopic signatures of dissolved inorganic carbon. The anaerobic conversion of methane to CO(2) was confirmed in a (13)C-labeling experiment. Methane fueled a vital microbial community with cell numbers of up to 4?×?10(9)?cells?cm(-3) sediment. The microbial community was analyzed by total cell counting, catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). CARD-FISH cell counts and qPCR measurements showed the presence of Bacteria and Archaea, but only small numbers of Eukarya. The archaeal community comprised largely members of ANME-1 and ANME-2. Furthermore, members of the Crenarchaeota were frequently detected in the DGGE analysis. Three major bacterial phylogenetic groups (?-Proteobacteria, candidate division OP9, and Anaerolineaceae) were abundant across the study area. Several of these sequences were closely related to the genus Desulfococcus of the family Desulfobacteraceae, which is in good agreement with previously described AOM sites. In conclusion, the majority of the microbial community at the seep consisted of AOM-related microorganisms, while the relevance of higher hydrocarbons as microbial substrates was negligible.
Project description:The occurrence of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and trace methane oxidation (TMO) was investigated in a freshwater natural gas source. Sediment samples were taken and analyzed for potential electron acceptors coupled to AOM. Long-term incubations with (13)C-labeled CH4 ((13)CH4) and different electron acceptors showed that both AOM and TMO occurred. In most conditions, (13)C-labeled CO2 ((13)CO2) simultaneously increased with methane formation, which is typical for TMO. In the presence of nitrate, neither methane formation nor methane oxidation occurred. Net AOM was measured only with sulfate as electron acceptor. Here, sulfide production occurred simultaneously with (13)CO2 production and no methanogenesis occurred, excluding TMO as a possible source for (13)CO2 production from (13)CH4. Archaeal 16S rRNA gene analysis showed the highest presence of ANME-2a/b (ANaerobic MEthane oxidizing archaea) and AAA (AOM Associated Archaea) sequences in the incubations with methane and sulfate as compared with only methane addition. Higher abundance of ANME-2a/b in incubations with methane and sulfate as compared with only sulfate addition was shown by qPCR analysis. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene analysis showed the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria belonging to SEEP-SRB1. This is the first report that explicitly shows that AOM is associated with sulfate reduction in an enrichment culture of ANME-2a/b and AAA methanotrophs and SEEP-SRB1 sulfate reducers from a low-saline environment.
Project description:Communities of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) grow slowly, which limits the ability to perform physiological studies. High methane partial pressure was previously successfully applied to stimulate growth, but it is not clear how different ANME subtypes and associated SRB are affected by it. Here, we report on the growth of ANME-SRB in a membrane capsule bioreactor inoculated with Eckernförde Bay sediment that combines high-pressure incubation (10.1 MPa methane) and thorough mixing (100 rpm) with complete cell retention by a 0.2-m-pore-size membrane. The results were compared to previously obtained data from an ambient-pressure (0.101 MPa methane) bioreactor inoculated with the same sediment. The rates of oxidation of labeled methane were not higher at 10.1 MPa, likely because measurements were done at ambient pressure. The subtype ANME-2a/b was abundant in both reactors, but subtype ANME-2c was enriched only at 10.1 MPa. SRB at 10.1 MPa mainly belonged to the SEEP-SRB2 and Eel-1 groups and the Desulfuromonadales and not to the typically found SEEP-SRB1 group. The increase of ANME-2a/b occurred in parallel with the increase of SEEP-SRB2, which was previously found to be associated only with ANME-2c. Our results imply that the syntrophic association is flexible and that methane pressure and sulfide concentration influence the growth of different ANME-SRB consortia. We also studied the effect of elevated methane pressure on methane production and oxidation by a mixture of methanogenic and sulfate-reducing sludge. Here, methane oxidation rates decreased and were not coupled to sulfide production, indicating trace methane oxidation during net methanogenesis and not anaerobic methane oxidation, even at a high methane partial pressure.
Project description:Archaeal anaerobic methanotrophs ("ANME") and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria ("SRB") form symbiotic multicellular consortia capable of anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM), and in so doing modulate methane flux from marine sediments. The specificity with which ANME associate with particular SRB partners in situ, however, is poorly understood. To characterize partnership specificity in ANME-SRB consortia, we applied the correlation inference technique SparCC to 310 16S rRNA amplicon libraries prepared from Costa Rica seep sediment samples, uncovering a strong positive correlation between ANME-2b and members of a clade of Deltaproteobacteria we termed SEEP-SRB1g. We confirmed this association by examining 16S rRNA diversity in individual ANME-SRB consortia sorted using flow cytometry and by imaging ANME-SRB consortia with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) microscopy using newly-designed probes targeting the SEEP-SRB1g clade. Analysis of genome bins belonging to SEEP-SRB1g revealed the presence of a complete nifHDK operon required for diazotrophy, unusual in published genomes of ANME-associated SRB. Active expression of nifH in SEEP-SRB1g within ANME-2b-SEEP-SRB1g consortia was then demonstrated by microscopy using hybridization chain reaction (HCR-) FISH targeting nifH transcripts and diazotrophic activity was documented by FISH-nanoSIMS experiments. NanoSIMS analysis of ANME-2b-SEEP-SRB1g consortia incubated with a headspace containing CH<sub>4</sub> and <sup>15</sup>N<sub>2</sub> revealed differences in cellular <sup>15</sup>N-enrichment between the two partners that varied between individual consortia, with SEEP-SRB1g cells enriched in <sup>15</sup>N relative to ANME-2b in one consortium and the opposite pattern observed in others, indicating both ANME-2b and SEEP-SRB1g are capable of nitrogen fixation, but with consortium-specific variation in whether the archaea or bacterial partner is the dominant diazotroph.
Project description:Recent single-gene-based surveys of deep continental aquifers demonstrated the widespread occurrence of archaea related to Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens (ANME-2d) known to mediate anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). However, it is unclear whether ANME-2d mediates AOM in the deep continental biosphere. In this study, we found the dominance of ANME-2d in groundwater enriched in sulfate and methane from a 300-m deep underground borehole in granitic rock. A near-complete genome of one representative species of the ANME-2d obtained from the underground borehole has most of functional genes required for AOM and assimilatory sulfate reduction. The genome of the subsurface ANME-2d is different from those of other members of ANME-2d by lacking functional genes encoding nitrate and nitrite reductases and multiheme cytochromes. In addition, the subsurface ANME-2d genome contains a membrane-bound NiFe hydrogenase gene putatively involved in respiratory H2 oxidation, which is different from those of other methanotrophic archaea. Short-term incubation of microbial cells collected from the granitic groundwater with 13C-labeled methane also demonstrates that AOM is linked to microbial sulfate reduction. Given the prominence of granitic continental crust and sulfate and methane in terrestrial subsurface fluids, we conclude that AOM may be widespread in the deep continental biosphere.
Project description:Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) mediated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) is the primary process that provides energy to cold seep ecosystems by converting methane into inorganic carbon. Notably, cold seep ecosystems are dominated by highly divergent heterotrophic microorganisms. The role of the AOM process in supporting heterotrophic population remains unknown. We investigate the acetogenic capacity of ANME-2a in a simulated cold seep ecosystem using high-pressure biotechnology, where both AOM activity and acetate production are detected. The production of acetate from methane is confirmed by isotope-labeling experiments. A complete archaeal acetogenesis pathway is identified in the ANME-2a genome, and apparent acetogenic activity of the key enzymes ADP-forming acetate-CoA ligase and acetyl-CoA synthetase is demonstrated. Here, we propose a modified model of carbon cycling in cold seeps: during AOM process, methane can be converted into organic carbon, such as acetate, which further fuels the heterotrophic community in the ecosystem.
Project description:Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a major biological process that reduces global methane emission to the atmosphere. Anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) mediate this process through the coupling of methane oxidation to different electron acceptors, or in concert with a syntrophic bacterial partner. Recently, ANME belonging to the archaeal family Methanoperedenaceae (formerly known as ANME-2d) were shown to be capable of AOM coupled to nitrate and iron reduction. Here, a freshwater sediment bioreactor fed with methane and Mn(IV) oxides (birnessite) resulted in a microbial community dominated by two novel members of the Methanoperedenaceae, with biochemical profiling of the system demonstrating Mn(IV)-dependent AOM. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses revealed the expression of key genes involved in methane oxidation and several shared multiheme c-type cytochromes (MHCs) that were differentially expressed, indicating the likely use of different extracellular electron transfer pathways. We propose the names "Candidatus Methanoperedens manganicus" and "Candidatus Methanoperedens manganireducens" for the two newly described Methanoperedenaceae species. This study demonstrates the ability of members of the Methanoperedenaceae to couple AOM to the reduction of Mn(IV) oxides, which suggests their potential role in linking methane and manganese cycling in the environment.