Response of a rice paddy soil methanogen to syntrophic growth as revealed by transcriptional analyses.
ABSTRACT: Members of Methanocellales are widespread in paddy field soils and play the key role in methane production. These methanogens feature largely in these organisms’ adaptation to low H2 and syntrophic growth with anaerobic fatty acid oxidizers. The adaptive mechanisms, however, remain unknown. In the present study, we determined the transcripts of 21 genes involved in the key steps of methanogenesis and acetate assimilation of Methanocella conradii HZ254, a strain recently isolated from paddy field soil. M. conradii was grown in monoculture and syntrophically with Pelotomaculum thermopropionicum (a propionate syntroph) or Syntrophothermus lipocalidus (a butyrate syntroph). Comparison of the relative transcript abundances showed that three hydrogenase-encoding genes and all methanogenesis-related genes tested were upregulated in cocultures relative to monoculture. The genes encoding formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase (Fwd), heterodisulfide reductase (Hdr), and the membrane-bound energy-converting hydrogenase (Ech) were the most upregulated among the evaluated genes. The expression of the formate dehydrogenase (Fdh)-encoding gene also was significantly upregulated. In contrast, an acetate assimilation gene was downregulated in cocultures. The genes coding for Fwd, Hdr, and the D subunit of F420-nonreducing hydrogenase (Mvh) form a large predicted transcription unit; therefore, the Mvh/Hdr/Fwd complex, capable of mediating the electron bifurcation and connecting the first and last steps of methanogenesis, was predicted to be formed in M. conradii. We propose that Methanocella methanogens cope with low H2 and syntrophic growth by (i) stabilizing the Mvh/Hdr/Fwd complex and (ii) activating formatedependent methanogenesis.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC4148802 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01T00:00:00Z