Ultrastructure and Viral Metagenome of Bacteriophages from an Anaerobic Methane Oxidizing Methylomirabilis Bioreactor Enrichment Culture.
ABSTRACT: With its capacity for anaerobic methane oxidation and denitrification, the bacterium Methylomirabilis oxyfera plays an important role in natural ecosystems. Its unique physiology can be exploited for more sustainable wastewater treatment technologies. However, operational stability of full-scale bioreactors can experience setbacks due to, for example, bacteriophage blooms. By shaping microbial communities through mortality, horizontal gene transfer, and metabolic reprogramming, bacteriophages are important players in most ecosystems. Here, we analyzed an infected Methylomirabilis sp. bioreactor enrichment culture using (advanced) electron microscopy, viral metagenomics and bioinformatics. Electron micrographs revealed four different viral morphotypes, one of which was observed to infect Methylomirabilis cells. The infected cells contained densely packed ~55 nm icosahedral bacteriophage particles with a putative internal membrane. Various stages of virion assembly were observed. Moreover, during the bacteriophage replication, the host cytoplasmic membrane appeared extremely patchy, which suggests that the bacteriophages may use host bacterial lipids to build their own putative internal membrane. The viral metagenome contained 1.87 million base pairs of assembled viral sequences, from which five putative complete viral genomes were assembled and manually annotated. Using bioinformatics analyses, we could not identify which viral genome belonged to the Methylomirabilis- infecting bacteriophage, in part because the obtained viral genome sequences were novel and unique to this reactor system. Taken together these results show that new bacteriophages can be detected in anaerobic cultivation systems and that the effect of bacteriophages on the microbial community in these systems is a topic for further study.
Project description:Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, which can be converted by microorganism at the expense of oxygen, nitrate, nitrite, metal-oxides or sulfate. The bacterium 'Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera,' a member of the NC10 phylum, is capable of nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation. Prolonged enrichment of 'Ca. M. oxyfera' with cerium added as trace element and without nitrate resulted in the shift of the dominant species. Here, we present a high quality draft genome of the new species 'Candidatus Methylomirabilis lanthanidiphila' and use comparative genomics to analyze its metabolic potential in both nitrogen and carbon cycling. To distinguish between gene content specific for the 'Ca. Methylomirabilis' genus and the NC10 phylum, the genome of a distantly related NC10 phylum member, CSP1-5, an aerobic methylotroph, is included in the analysis. All genes for the conversion of nitrite to N2 identified in 'Ca. M. oxyfera' are conserved in 'Ca. M. lanthanidiphila,' including the two putative genes for NO dismutase. In addition both species have several heme-copper oxidases potentially involved in NO and O2 respiration. For the oxidation of methane 'Ca. Methylomirabilis' species encode a membrane bound methane monooxygenase. CSP1-5 can act as a methylotroph, but lacks the ability to activate methane. In contrast to 'Ca. M. oxyfera,' which harbors three methanol dehydrogenases (MDH), both CSP1-5 and 'Ca. M. lanthanidiphila' only encode a lanthanide-dependent XoxF-type MDH, once more underlining the importance of rare earth elements for methylotrophic bacteria. The pathways for the subsequent oxidation of formaldehyde to carbon dioxide and for the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle are conserved in all species. Furthermore, CSP1-5 can only interconvert nitrate and nitrite, but lacks subsequent nitrite or NO reductases. Thus, it appears that although the conversion of methanol to carbon dioxide is present in several NC10 phylum bacteria, the coupling of nitrite reduction to the oxidation of methane is a trait so far unique to the genus 'Ca. Methylomirabilis.'
Project description:“Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera” is a newly discovered anaerobic methanotroph that, surprisingly, oxidizes methane through an aerobic methane oxidation pathway. The second step in this aerobic pathway is the oxidation of methanol. In Gramnegative bacteria, the reaction is catalyzed by pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ)-dependent methanol dehydrogenase (MDH). The genome of “Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera” putatively encodes three different MDHs that are localized in one large gene cluster: one so-called MxaFI-type MDH and two XoxF-type MDHs (XoxF1 and XoxF2). MxaFI MDHs represent the canonical enzymes, which are composed of two PQQ-containing large (?) subunits (MxaF) and two small (?) subunits (MxaI). XoxF MDHs are novel, ecologically widespread, but poorly investigated types of MDHs that can be phylogenetically divided into at least five different clades. The XoxF MDHs described thus far are homodimeric proteins containing a large subunit only. Here, we purified a heterotetrameric MDH from “Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera” that consisted of two XoxF and two MxaI subunits. The enzyme was localized in the periplasm of “Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera” cells and catalyzed methanol oxidation with appreciable specific activity and affinity (Vmax of 10 micromole min(-1) mg(-1) protein, Km of 17 microM). PQQ was present as the prosthetic group,which has to be taken up from the environment since the known gene inventory required for the synthesis of this cofactor is lacking. The MDH from “Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera” is the first representative of type 1 XoxF proteins to be described.
Project description:"Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera" is a newly discovered denitrifying methanotroph that is unrelated to previously known methanotrophs. This bacterium is a member of the NC10 phylum and couples methane oxidation to denitrification through a newly discovered intra-aerobic pathway. In the present study, we report the first ultrastructural study of "Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera" using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and electron tomography in combination with different sample preparation methods. We observed that "Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera" cells possess an atypical polygonal shape that is distinct from other bacterial shapes described so far. Also, an additional layer was observed as the outermost sheath, which might represent a (glyco)protein surface layer. Further, intracytoplasmic membranes, which are a common feature among proteobacterial methanotrophs, were never observed under the current growth conditions. Our results indicate that "Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera" is ultrastructurally distinct from other bacteria by its atypical cell shape and from the classical proteobacterial methanotrophs by its apparent lack of intracytoplasmic membranes.
Project description:Paddy fields are a significant source of methane and contribute up to 20% of total methane emissions from wetland ecosystems. These inundated, anoxic soils featuring abundant nitrogen compounds and methane are an ideal niche for nitrate-dependent anaerobic methanotrophs. After 2 years of enrichment with a continuous supply of methane and nitrate as the sole electron donor and acceptor, a stable enrichment dominated by 'Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens' archaea and 'Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera' NC10 phylum bacteria was achieved. In this community, the methanotrophic archaea supplied the NC10 phylum bacteria with the necessary nitrite through nitrate reduction coupled to methane oxidation. The results of qPCR quantification of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene copies, analysis of metagenomic 16S rRNA reads, and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) correlated well and showed that after 2 years, 'Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens' had the highest abundance of (2.2 ± 0.4 × 108) 16S rRNA copies per milliliter and constituted approximately 22% of the total microbial community. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the 16S rRNA genes of the dominant microorganisms clustered with previously described 'Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens ANME2D' (96% identity) and 'Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera' (99% identity) strains. The pooled metagenomic sequences resulted in a high-quality draft genome assembly of 'Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens Vercelli' that contained all key functional genes for the reverse methanogenesis pathway and nitrate reduction. The diagnostic mcrA gene was 96% similar to 'Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens ANME2D' (WP_048089615.1) at the protein level. The 'Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera' draft genome contained the marker genes pmoCAB, mdh, and nirS and putative NO dismutase genes. Whole-reactor anaerobic activity measurements with methane and nitrate revealed an average methane oxidation rate of 0.012 mmol/h/L, with cell-specific methane oxidation rates up to 0.57 fmol/cell/day for 'Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens'. In summary, this study describes the first enrichment and draft genome of methanotrophic archaea from paddy field soil, where these organisms can contribute significantly to the mitigation of methane emissions.
Project description:Published pmoA primers do not match the pmoA sequence of "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera," a bacterium that performs nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation. Therefore, new pmoA primers for the detection of "Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera"-like methanotrophs were developed and successfully tested on freshwater samples from different habitats. These primers expand existing molecular tools for the study of methanotrophs in the environment.
Project description:The importance of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) as a methane sink in freshwater systems is largely unexplored, particularly in peat ecosystems. Nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-damo) was recently discovered and reported to be catalyzed by the bacterium "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera," which is affiliated with the NC10 phylum. So far, several "Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera" enrichment cultures have been obtained using a limited number of freshwater sediments or wastewater treatment sludge as the inoculum. In this study, using stable isotope measurements and porewater profiles, we investigated the potential of n-damo in a minerotrophic peatland in the south of the Netherlands that is infiltrated by nitrate-rich ground water. Methane and nitrate profiles suggested that all methane produced was oxidized before reaching the oxic layer, and NC10 bacteria could be active in the transition zone where countergradients of methane and nitrate occur. Quantitative PCR showed high NC10 bacterial cell numbers at this methane-nitrate transition zone. This soil section was used to enrich the prevalent NC10 bacteria in a continuous culture supplied with methane and nitrite at an in situ pH of 6.2. An enrichment of nitrite-reducing methanotrophic NC10 bacteria was successfully obtained. Phylogenetic analysis of retrieved 16S rRNA and pmoA genes showed that the enriched bacteria were very similar to the ones found in situ and constituted a new branch of NC10 bacteria with an identity of less than 96 and 90% to the 16S rRNA and pmoA genes of "Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera," respectively. The results of this study expand our knowledge of the diversity and distribution of NC10 bacteria in the environment and highlight their potential contribution to nitrogen and methane cycles.
Project description:Background:The nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (N-DAMO) pathway, which plays an important role in carbon and nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems, is mediated by "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera" (M. oxyfera) of the NC10 phylum. M. oxyfera-like bacteria are widespread in nature, however, the presence, spatial heterogeneity and genetic diversity of M. oxyfera in the rhizosphere of aquatic plants has not been widely reported. Method:In order to simulate the rhizosphere microenvironment of submerged plants, Potamogeton crispus was cultivated using the rhizobox approach. Sediments from three compartments of the rhizobox: root (R), near-rhizosphere (including five sub-compartments of one mm width, N1-N5) and non-rhizosphere (>5 mm, Non), were sampled. The 16S rRNA gene library was used to investigate the diversity of M. oxyfera-like bacteria in these sediments. Results:Methylomirabilis oxyfera-like bacteria were found in all three sections, with all 16S rRNA gene sequences belonging to 16 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). A maximum of six OTUs was found in the N1 sub-compartment of the near-rhizosphere compartment and a minimum of four in the root compartment (R) and N5 near-rhizosphere sub-compartment. Indices of bacterial community diversity (Shannon) and richness (Chao1) were 0.73-1.16 and 4-9, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that OTU1-11 were classified into group b, while OTU12 was in a new cluster of NC10. Discussion:Our results confirmed the existence of M. oxyfera-like bacteria in the rhizosphere microenvironment of the submerged plant P. crispus. Group b of M. oxyfera-like bacteria was the dominant group in this study as opposed to previous findings that both group a and b coexist in most other environments. Our results indicate that understanding the ecophysiology of M. oxyfera-like bacteria group b may help to explain their existence in the rhizosphere sediment of aquatic plant.
Project description:Anaerobic microorganisms play key roles in the biogeochemical cycling of methane and non-methane alkanes. To date, there appear to be at least three proposed mechanisms of anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM). The first pathway is mediated by consortia of archaeal anaerobic methane oxidizers and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) via "reverse methanogenesis" and is catalyzed by a homolog of methyl-coenzyme M reductase. The second pathway is also mediated by anaerobic methane oxidizers and SRB, wherein the archaeal members catalyze both methane oxidation and sulfate reduction and zero-valent sulfur is a key intermediate. The third AOM mechanism is a nitrite-dependent, "intra-aerobic" pathway described for the denitrifying bacterium, 'Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera.' It is hypothesized that AOM proceeds via reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide, followed by the conversion of two nitric oxide molecules to dinitrogen and molecular oxygen. The latter can be used to functionalize the methane via a particulate methane monooxygenase. With respect to non-methane alkanes, there also appear to be novel mechanisms of activation. The most well-described pathway is the addition of non-methane alkanes across the double bond of fumarate to form alkyl-substituted succinates via the putative glycyl radical enzyme, alkylsuccinate synthase (also known as methylalkylsuccinate synthase). Other proposed mechanisms include anaerobic hydroxylation via ethylbenzene dehydrogenase-like enzymes and an "intra-aerobic" denitrification pathway similar to that described for 'Methylomirabilis oxyfera.'
Project description:It has recently been suggested that oxygenic dismutation of NO into N2 and O2 may occur in the anaerobic methanotrophic "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera" and the alkane-oxidizing gammaproteobacterium HdN1. It may represent a new pathway in microbial nitrogen cycling catalyzed by a putative NO dismutase (Nod). The formed O2 enables microbes to employ aerobic catabolic pathways in anoxic habitats, suggesting an ecophysiological niche space of substantial appeal for bioremediation and water treatment. However, it is still unknown whether this physiology is limited to "Ca Methylomirabilis oxyfera" and HdN1 and whether it can be coupled to the oxidation of electron donors other than alkanes. Here, we report insights into an unexpected diversity and remarkable abundance of nod genes in natural and engineered water systems. Phylogenetically diverse nod genes were recovered from a range of contaminated aquifers and N-removing wastewater treatment systems. Together with nod genes from "Ca Methylomirabilis oxyfera" and HdN1, the novel environmental nod sequences formed no fewer than 6 well-supported phylogenetic clusters, clearly distinct from canonical NO reductase (quinol-dependent NO reductase [qNor] and cytochrome c-dependent NO reductase [cNor]) genes. The abundance of nod genes in the investigated samples ranged from 1.6 × 107 to 5.2 × 1010 copies · g-1 (wet weight) of sediment or sludge biomass, accounting for up to 10% of total bacterial 16S rRNA gene counts. In essence, NO dismutation could be a much more widespread physiology than currently perceived. Understanding the controls of this emergent microbial capacity could offer new routes for nitrogen elimination or pollutant remediation in natural and engineered water systems. IMPORTANCE:NO dismutation into N2 and O2 is a novel process catalyzed by putative NO dismutase (Nod). To date, only two bacteria, the anaerobic methane-oxidizing bacterium "Ca Methylomirabilis oxyfera" and the alkane-oxidizing gammaproteobacterium HdN1, are known to harbor nod genes. In this study, we report efficient molecular tools that can detect and quantify a wide diversity of nod genes in environmental samples. A surprisingly high diversity and abundance of nod genes were found in contaminated aquifers as well as wastewater treatment systems. This evidence indicates that NO dismutation may be a much more widespread physiology in natural and man-made environments than currently perceived. The molecular tools presented here will facilitate further studies on these enigmatic microbes in the future.
Project description:Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) reduces methane emissions from marine ecosystems but we know little about AOM in rivers, whose role in the global carbon cycle is increasingly recognized. We measured AOM potentials driven by different electron acceptors, including nitrite, nitrate, sulfate, and ferric iron, and identified microorganisms involved across contrasting riverbeds. AOM activity was confined to the more reduced, sandy riverbeds, whereas no activity was measured in the less reduced, gravel riverbeds where there were few anaerobic methanotrophs. Nitrite-dependent and nitrate-dependent AOM occurred in all sandy riverbeds, with the maximum rates of 61.0 and 20.0 nmol CO2 g-1 (dry sediment) d-1, respectively, while sulfate-dependent and ferric iron-dependent AOM occurred only where methane concentration was highest and the diversity of AOM pathways greatest. Diverse Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera (M. oxyfera)-like bacteria and Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens (M. nitroreducens)-like archaea were detected in the sandy riverbeds (16S rRNA gene abundance of 9.3 × 105 to 1.5 × 107 and 2.1 × 104 to 2.5 × 105 copies g-1 dry sediment, respectively) but no other known anaerobic methanotrophs. Further, we found M. oxyfera-like bacteria and M. nitroreducens-like archaea to be actively involved in nitrite- and nitrate/ferric iron-dependent AOM, respectively. Hence, we demonstrate multiple pathways of AOM in relation to methane, though the activities of M. oxyfera-like bacteria and M. nitroreducens-like archaea are dominant.