Effect of dilution rate on metabolic pathway shift between aceticlastic and nonaceticlastic methanogenesis in chemostat cultivation.
ABSTRACT: Acetate conversion pathways of methanogenic consortia in acetate-fed chemostats at dilution rates of 0.025 and 0.6 day(-1) were investigated by using (13)C-labeled acetates, followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of the CH(4) and CO(2) produced. Nonaceticlastic syntrophic oxidation by acetate-oxidizing syntrophs and hydrogenotrophic methanogens was suggested to occupy a primary pathway (approximately 62 to 90%) in total methanogenesis at the low dilution rate. In contrast, aceticlastic cleavage of acetate by aceticlastic methanogens was suggested to occupy a primary pathway (approximately 95 to 99%) in total methanogenesis at the high dilution rate. Phylogenetic analyses of transcripts of the methyl coenzyme M reductase gene (mcrA) confirmed that a significant number of transcripts of the genera Methanoculleus (hydrogenotrophic methanogens) and Methanosarcina (aceticlastic methanogens) were present in the chemostats at the low and high dilution rates, respectively. The mcrA transcripts of the genus Methanosaeta (aceticlastic methanogens), which dominated the population in a previous study (T. Shigematsu, Y. Tang, H. Kawaguchi, K. Ninomiya, J. Kijima, T. Kobayashi, S. Morimura, and K. Kida, J. Biosci. Bioeng. 96:547-558, 2003), were poorly detected at both dilution rates due to the limited coverage of the primers used. These results demonstrated that the dilution rate could cause a shift in the primary pathway of acetate conversion to methane in acetate-fed chemostats.
Project description:The metabolic pathways of methane formation vary with environmental conditions, but whether this can also be linked to changes in the active archaeal community structure remains uncertain. Here, we show that the suppression of aceticlastic methanogenesis by methyl fluoride (CH(3)F) caused surprisingly little differences in community composition of active methanogenic archaea from a rice field soil. By measuring the natural abundances of carbon isotopes we found that the effective dose for a 90% inhibition of aceticlastic methanogenesis in anoxic paddy soil incubations was <0.75% CH(3)F (v/v). The construction of clone libraries as well as t-RFLP analysis revealed that the active community, as indicated by mcrA transcripts (encoding the ? subunit of methyl-coenzyme M reductase, a key enzyme for methanogenesis), remained stable over a wide range of CH(3)F concentrations and represented only a subset of the methanogenic community. More precisely, Methanocellaceae were of minor importance, but Methanosarcinaceae dominated the active population, even when CH(3)F inhibition only allowed for aceticlastic methanogenesis. In addition, we detected mcrA gene fragments of a so far unrecognised phylogenetic cluster. Transcription of this phylotype at methyl fluoride concentrations suppressing aceticlastic methanogenesis suggests that the respective organisms perform hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Hence, the application of CH(3)F combined with transcript analysis is not only a useful tool to measure and assign in situ acetate usage, but also to explore substrate usage by as yet uncultivated methanogens.
Project description:Zoige wetland in Tibetan plateau represents a cold environment at high altitude where significant methane emission has been observed. However, it remains unknown how the production and emission of CH4 from Zoige wetland will respond to a warming climate. Here we investigated the temperature sensitivity of methanogen community in a Zoige wetland soil under the laboratory incubation conditions. One soil sample was collected and the temperature sensitivity of the methanogenic activity, the structure of methanogen community and the methanogenic pathways were determined. We found that the response of methanogenesis to temperature could be separated into two phases, a high sensitivity in the low temperature range and a modest sensitivity under mesophilic conditions, respectively. The aceticlastic methanogens Methanosarcinaceae were the main methanogens at low temperatures, while hydrogenotrophic Methanobacteriales, Methanomicrobiales, and Methanocellales were more abundant at higher temperatures. The total abundance of mcrA genes increased with temperature indicating that the growth of methanogens was stimulated. The growth of hydrogenotrophic methanogens, however, was faster than aceticlastic ones resulting in the shift of methanogen community. Determination of carbon isotopic signatures indicated that methanogenic pathway was also shifted from mainly aceticlastic methanogenesis to a mixture of hydrogenotrophic and aceticlastic methanogenesis with the increase of temperature. Collectively, the shift of temperature responses of methanogenesis was in accordance with the changes in methanogen composition and methanogenic pathway in this wetland sample. It appears that the aceticlastic methanogenesis dominating at low temperatures is more sensitive than the hydrogenotrophic one at higher temperatures.
Project description:Methanogenic inhibitors are often used to study methanogenesis in complex microbial communities or inhibit methanogens in the gastrointestinal tract of livestock. However, the resulting structural and functional changes in archaeal and bacterial communities are poorly understood. We characterized microbial community structure and activity in mesocosms seeded with cow dung and municipal wastewater treatment plant anaerobic digester sludge after exposure to two methanogenic inhibitors, 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) and propynoic acid (PA). Methane production was reduced by 89% (0.5 mmol/L BES), 100% (10 mmol/LBES), 24% (0.1 mmol/LPA), and 95% (10 mmol/LPA). Using modified primers targeting the methyl-coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) gene, changes in mcrA gene expression were found to correspond with changes in methane production and the relative activity of methanogens. Methanogenic activity was determined by the relative abundance of methanogen 16S rRNA cDNA as a percentage of the total community 16S rRNA cDNA. Overall, methanogenic activity was lower when mesocosms were exposed to higher concentrations of both inhibitors, and aceticlastic methanogens were inhibited to a greater extent than hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Syntrophic bacterial activity, measured by 16S rRNA cDNA, was also reduced following exposure to both inhibitors, but the overall structure of the active bacterial community was not significantly affected.
Project description:The effects of temperature on rates and pathways of CH4 production and on the abundance and structure of the archaeal community were investigated in acidic peat from a mire in northern Scandinavia (68 degrees N). We monitored the production of CH4 and CO2 over time and measured the turnover of Fe(II), ethanol, and organic acids. All experiments were performed with and without specific inhibitors (2-bromoethanesulfonate [BES] for methanogenesis and CH3F for acetoclastic methanogenesis). The optimum temperature for methanogenesis was 25 degrees C (2.3 micromol CH4.g [dry weight](-1) . day(-1)), but the activity was relatively high even at 4 degrees C (0.25 micromol CH4. g [dry weight](-1) . day(-1)). The theoretical lower limit for methanogenesis was calculated to be at -5 degrees C. The optimum temperature for growth as revealed by real-time PCR was 25 degrees C for both archaea and bacteria. The population structure of archaea was studied by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and remained constant over a wide temperature range. Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis accounted for about 80% of the total methanogenesis. Most 16S rRNA gene sequences that were affiliated with methanogens and all McrA sequences clustered with the exclusively hydrogenotrophic order Methanobacteriales, correlating with the prevalence of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Fe reduction occurred parallel to methanogenesis and was inhibited by BES, suggesting that methanogens were involved in Fe reduction. Based upon the observed balance of substrates and thermodynamic calculations, we concluded that the ethanol pool was oxidized to acetate by the following two processes: syntrophic oxidation with methanogenesis (i) as an H2 sink and (ii) as a reductant for Fe(III). Acetate accumulated, but a considerable fraction was converted to butyrate, making volatile fatty acids important end products of anaerobic metabolism.
Project description:In this work, we report the complete genome sequence of an obligate aceticlastic methanogen, Methanosaeta harundinacea 6Ac. Genome comparison indicated that the three cultured Methanosaeta spp., M. thermophila, M. concilii and M. harundinacea 6Ac, each carry an entire suite of genes encoding the proteins involved in the methyl-group oxidation pathway, a pathway whose function is not well documented in the obligately aceticlastic methanogens. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the methyl-group oxidation-involving proteins, Fwd, Mtd, Mch, and Mer from Methanosaeta strains cluster with the methylotrophic methanogens, and were not closely related to those from the hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Quantitative PCR detected the expression of all genes for this pathway, albeit ten times lower than the genes for aceticlastic methanogenesis in strain 6Ac. Western blots also revealed the expression of fwd and mch, genes involved in methyl-group oxidation. Moreover, (13)C-labeling experiments suggested that the Methanosaeta strains might use the pathway as a methyl oxidation shunt during the aceticlastic metabolism. Because the mch mutants of Methanosarcina barkeri or M. acetivorans failed to grow on acetate, we suggest that Methanosaeta may use methyl-group oxidation pathway to generate reducing equivalents, possibly for biomass synthesis. An fpo operon, which encodes an electron transport complex for the reduction of CoM-CoB heterodisulfide, was found in the three genomes of the Methanosaeta strains. However, an incomplete protein complex lacking the FpoF subunit was predicted, as the gene for this protein was absent. Thus, F(420)H(2) was predicted not to serve as the electron donor. In addition, two gene clusters encoding the two types of heterodisulfide reductase (Hdr), hdrABC, and hdrED, respectively, were found in the three Methanosaeta genomes. Quantitative PCR determined that the expression of hdrED was about ten times higher than hdrABC, suggesting that hdrED plays a major role in aceticlastic methanogenesis.
Project description:Wetland soils are one of the largest natural contributors to the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Currently, microbial contributions to methane emissions from these systems emphasize the roles of acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens, while less frequently considering methyl-group substrates (e.g., methanol and methylamines). Here, we integrated laboratory and field experiments to explore the potential for methylotrophic methanogenesis in Old Woman Creek (OWC), a temperate freshwater wetland located in Ohio, USA. We first demonstrated the capacity for methylotrophic methanogenesis in these soils using laboratory soil microcosms amended with trimethylamine. However, subsequent field porewater nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses to identify methanogenic substrates failed to detect evidence for methylamine compounds in soil porewaters, instead noting the presence of the methylotrophic substrate methanol. Accordingly, our wetland soil-derived metatranscriptomic data indicated that methanol utilization by the Methanomassiliicoccaceae was the likely source of methylotrophic methanogenesis. Methanomassiliicoccaceae relative contributions to mcrA transcripts nearly doubled with depth, accounting for up to 8% of the mcrA transcripts in 25-cm-deep soils. Longitudinal 16S rRNA amplicon and mcrA gene surveys demonstrated that Methanomassiliicoccaceae were stably present over 2 years across lateral and depth gradients in this wetland. Meta-analysis of 16S rRNA sequences similar (>99%) to OWC Methanomassiliicoccaceae in public databases revealed a global distribution, with a high representation in terrestrial soils and sediments. Together, our results demonstrate that methylotrophic methanogenesis likely contributes to methane flux from climatically relevant wetland soils.IMPORTANCE Understanding the sources and controls on microbial methane production from wetland soils is critical to global methane emission predictions, particularly in light of changing climatic conditions. Current biogeochemical models of methanogenesis consider only acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic sources and exclude methylotrophic methanogenesis, potentially underestimating microbial contributions to methane flux. Our multi-omic results demonstrated that methylotrophic methanogens of the family Methanomassiliicoccaceae were present and active in a freshwater wetland, with metatranscripts indicating that methanol, not methylamines, was the likely substrate under the conditions measured here. However, laboratory experiments indicated the potential for other methanogens to become enriched in response to trimethylamine, revealing the reservoir of methylotrophic methanogenesis potential residing in these soils. Collectively, our approach used coupled field and laboratory investigations to illuminate metabolisms influencing the terrestrial microbial methane cycle, thereby offering direction for increased realism in predictive process-oriented models of methane flux in wetland soils.
Project description:The anoxic saccharide-rich conditions of the earthworm gut provide an ideal transient habitat for ingested microbes capable of anaerobiosis. It was recently discovered that the earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae from Brazil can emit methane (CH4) and that ingested methanogens might be associated with this emission. The objective of this study was to resolve trophic interactions of bacteria and methanogens in the methanogenic food web in the gut contents of E. eugeniae. RNA-based stable isotope probing of bacterial 16S rRNA as well as mcrA and mrtA (the alpha subunit of methyl-CoM reductase and its isoenzyme, respectively) of methanogens was performed with [(13)C]-glucose as a model saccharide in the gut contents. Concomitant fermentations were augmented by the rapid consumption of glucose, yielding numerous products, including molecular hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), formate, acetate, ethanol, lactate, succinate and propionate. Aeromonadaceae-affiliated facultative aerobes, and obligate anaerobes affiliated to Lachnospiraceae, Veillonellaceae and Ruminococcaceae were associated with the diverse fermentations. Methanogenesis was ongoing during incubations, and (13)C-labeling of CH4 verified that supplemental [(13)C]-glucose derived carbon was dissimilated to CH4. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens affiliated with Methanobacteriaceae and Methanoregulaceae were linked to methanogenesis, and acetogens related to Peptostreptoccocaceae were likewise found to be participants in the methanogenic food web. H2 rather than acetate stimulated methanogenesis in the methanogenic gut content enrichments, and acetogens appeared to dissimilate supplemental H2 to acetate in methanogenic enrichments. These findings provide insight on the processes and associated taxa potentially linked to methanogenesis and the turnover of organic carbon in the alimentary canal of methane-emitting E. eugeniae.
Project description:The metatranscriptomic recharacterization in the present study captured microbial enzymes at the unprecedented scale of 40,000 active genes belonged to 2,269 KEGG functions were identified. The novel information obtained herein revealed interesting patterns and provides an initial transcriptional insight into the thermophilic cellulose methanization process. Synergistic beta-sugar consumption by Thermotogales is crucial for cellulose hydrolysis in the thermophilic cellulose-degrading consortium because the primary cellulose degraders Clostridiales showed metabolic incompetence in subsequent beta-sugar pathways. Additionally, comparable transcription of putative Sus-like polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) was observed in an unclassified order of Bacteroidetes suggesting the importance of PULs mechanism for polysaccharides breakdown in thermophilic systems. Despite the abundance of acetate as a fermentation product, the acetate-utilizing Methanosarcinales were less prevalent by 60% than the hydrogenotrophic Methanobacteriales. Whereas the aceticlastic methanogenesis pathway was markedly more active in terms of transcriptional activities in key genes, indicating that the less dominant Methanosarcinales are more active than their hydrogenotrophic counterparts in methane metabolism. These findings suggest that the minority of aceticlastic methanogens are not necessarily associated with repressed metabolism, in a pattern that was commonly observed in the cellulose-based methanization consortium, and thus challenge the causal likelihood proposed by previous studies.
Project description:Rice paddies in central Thailand are flooded either by irrigation (irrigated rice) or by rain (rain-fed rice). The paddy soils and their microbial communities thus experience permanent or arbitrary submergence, respectively. Since methane production depends on anaerobic conditions, we hypothesized that structure and function of the methanogenic microbial communities are different in irrigated and rain-fed paddies and react differently upon desiccation stress. We determined rates and relative proportions of hydrogenotrophic and aceticlastic methanogenesis before and after short-term drying of soil samples from replicate fields. The methanogenic pathway was determined by analyzing concentrations and ?13C of organic carbon and of CH4 and CO2 produced in the presence and absence of methyl fluoride, an inhibitor of aceticlastic methanogenesis. We also determined the abundance (qPCR) of genes and transcripts of bacterial 16S rRNA, archaeal 16S rRNA and methanogenic mcrA (coding for a subunit of the methyl coenzyme M reductase) and the composition of these microbial communities by T-RFLP fingerprinting and/or Illumina deep sequencing. The abundances of genes and transcripts were similar in irrigated and rain-fed paddy soil. They also did not change much upon desiccation and rewetting, except the transcripts of mcrA, which increased by more than two orders of magnitude. In parallel, rates of CH4 production also increased, in rain-fed soil more than in irrigated soil. The contribution of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis increased in rain-fed soil and became similar to that in irrigated soil. However, the relative microbial community composition on higher taxonomic levels was similar between irrigated and rain-fed soil. On the other hand, desiccation and subsequent anaerobic reincubation resulted in systematic changes in the composition of microbial communities for both Archaea and Bacteria. It is noteworthy that differences in the community composition were mostly detected on the level of operational taxonomic units (OTUs; 97% sequence similarity). The treatments resulted in change of the relative abundance of several archaeal OTUs. Some OTUs of Methanobacterium, Methanosaeta, Methanosarcina, Methanocella and Methanomassiliicoccus increased, while some of Methanolinea and Methanosaeta decreased. Bacterial OTUs within Firmicutes, Cyanobacteria, Planctomycetes and Deltaproteobacteria increased, while OTUs within other proteobacterial classes decreased.
Project description:Among methanogens, only 2 genera, Methanosaeta and Methanosarcina, are known to contribute to methanogenesis from acetate, and Methanosaeta is a specialist that uses acetate specifically. However, Methanosaeta strains so far have mainly been isolated from anaerobic digesters, despite the fact that it is widespread, not only in anaerobic methanogenic reactors and freshwater environments, but also in marine environments, based upon extensive 16S rRNA gene-cloning analyses. In this study, we isolated an aceticlastic methanogen, designated strain 03d30q(T), from a tidal flat sediment. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA and mcrA genes revealed that the isolate belongs to the genus Methanosaeta. Unlike the other known Methanosaeta species, this isolate grows at Na(+) concentrations of 0.20 to 0.80 M, with an optimum concentration of 0.28 M. Quantitative estimation using real-time PCR detected the 16S rRNA gene of the genus Methanosaeta in the marine sediment, and relative abundance ranged from 3.9% to 11.8% of the total archaeal 16S rRNA genes. In addition, the number of Methanosaeta organisms increased with increasing depth and was much higher than that of Methanosarcina organisms, suggesting that aceticlastic methanogens contribute to acetate metabolism to a greater extent than previously thought in marine environments, where sulfate-reducing acetate oxidation prevails. This is the first report on marine Methanosaeta species, and based on phylogenetic and characteristic studies, the name "Methanosaeta pelagica" sp. nov. is proposed for this novel species, with type strain 03d30q.