A temperate river estuary is a sink for methanotrophs adapted to extremes of pH, temperature and salinity

Angela Sherry*, Kate A. Osborne, Frances R. Sidgwick, Neil D. Gray, Helen M. Talbot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

River Tyne (UK) estuarine sediments harbour a genetically and functionally diverse community of methane-oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs), the composition and activity of which were directly influenced by imposed environmental conditions (pH, salinity, temperature) that extended far beyond those found in situ. In aerobic sediment slurries methane oxidation rates were monitored together with the diversity of a functional gene marker for methanotrophs (pmoA). Under near in situ conditions (4-30°C, pH 6-8, 1-15gl-1 NaCl), communities were enriched by sequences affiliated with Methylobacter and Methylomonas spp. and specifically a Methylobacter psychrophilus-related species at 4-21°C. More extreme conditions, namely high temperatures ≥40°C, high ≥9 and low ≤5 pH, and high salinities ≥35gl-1 selected for putative thermophiles (Methylocaldum), acidophiles (Methylosoma) and haloalkaliphiles (Methylomicrobium). The presence of these extreme methanotrophs (unlikely to be part of the active community in situ) indicates passive dispersal from surrounding environments into the estuary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

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