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Anaerobic oxidation of methane in hypersaline cold seep sediments

Anaerobic oxidation of methane in hypersaline cold seep sediments
Anaerobic oxidation of methane in hypersaline cold seep sediments
Life in hypersaline environments is typically limited by bioenergetic constraints. Microbial activity at the thermodynamic edge, such as the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulphate reduction (SR), is thus unlikely to thrive in these environments. In this study, carbon and sulphur cycling was investigated in the extremely hypersaline cold seep sediments of Mercator mud volcano. AOM activity was partially inhibited but still present at salinity levels of 292 g L?1 (c. eightfold sea water concentration) with rates of 2.3 nmol cm?3 day?1 and was even detectable under saturated conditions. Methane and evaporite-derived sulphate comigrated in the ascending geofluids, which, in combination with a partial activity inhibition, resulted in AOM activity being spread over unusually wide depth intervals. Up to 79% of total cells in the AOM zone were identified by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as anaerobic methanotrophs of the ANME-1. Most ANME-1 cells formed monospecific chains without any attached partner. At all sites, AOM activity co-occurred with SR activity and sometimes significantly exceeded it. Possible causes of these unexpected results are discussed. This study demonstrates that in spite of a very low energy yield of AOM, microorganisms carrying this reaction can thrive in salinity up to halite saturation.
methane cold seep, Mercator mud volcano, sulphate reduction, 16S rDNA gene libraries, Gulf of Cadiz, Captain Arutyunov mud volcano
214-231
Maignien, Loïs
d167019d-31cc-421e-b912-36566248e0aa
Parkes, R. John
cb255d04-5fc0-43a4-814a-a52c4df45c5d
Cragg, Barry
c3b96239-fe63-48c3-ada9-621d8db118a1
Niemann, Helge
51398a14-68cb-46f0-bd02-f90068cf9848
Knittel, Katrin
44b5b32e-277b-4249-a0b4-ed12a7070a28
Coulon, Stephanie
48f3bde3-e05d-4e9d-bf32-9892329989ce
Akhmetzhanov, Andrey
20fd3070-f76f-4a05-8795-992dfa3ab10a
Boon, Nico
1e0d0c4b-88ce-453a-9db6-a5d3054560ef
Maignien, Loïs
d167019d-31cc-421e-b912-36566248e0aa
Parkes, R. John
cb255d04-5fc0-43a4-814a-a52c4df45c5d
Cragg, Barry
c3b96239-fe63-48c3-ada9-621d8db118a1
Niemann, Helge
51398a14-68cb-46f0-bd02-f90068cf9848
Knittel, Katrin
44b5b32e-277b-4249-a0b4-ed12a7070a28
Coulon, Stephanie
48f3bde3-e05d-4e9d-bf32-9892329989ce
Akhmetzhanov, Andrey
20fd3070-f76f-4a05-8795-992dfa3ab10a
Boon, Nico
1e0d0c4b-88ce-453a-9db6-a5d3054560ef

Maignien, Loïs, Parkes, R. John, Cragg, Barry, Niemann, Helge, Knittel, Katrin, Coulon, Stephanie, Akhmetzhanov, Andrey and Boon, Nico (2013) Anaerobic oxidation of methane in hypersaline cold seep sediments. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 83 (1), 214-231. (doi:10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01466.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Life in hypersaline environments is typically limited by bioenergetic constraints. Microbial activity at the thermodynamic edge, such as the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulphate reduction (SR), is thus unlikely to thrive in these environments. In this study, carbon and sulphur cycling was investigated in the extremely hypersaline cold seep sediments of Mercator mud volcano. AOM activity was partially inhibited but still present at salinity levels of 292 g L?1 (c. eightfold sea water concentration) with rates of 2.3 nmol cm?3 day?1 and was even detectable under saturated conditions. Methane and evaporite-derived sulphate comigrated in the ascending geofluids, which, in combination with a partial activity inhibition, resulted in AOM activity being spread over unusually wide depth intervals. Up to 79% of total cells in the AOM zone were identified by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as anaerobic methanotrophs of the ANME-1. Most ANME-1 cells formed monospecific chains without any attached partner. At all sites, AOM activity co-occurred with SR activity and sometimes significantly exceeded it. Possible causes of these unexpected results are discussed. This study demonstrates that in spite of a very low energy yield of AOM, microorganisms carrying this reaction can thrive in salinity up to halite saturation.

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More information

Published date: January 2013
Keywords: methane cold seep, Mercator mud volcano, sulphate reduction, 16S rDNA gene libraries, Gulf of Cadiz, Captain Arutyunov mud volcano
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372015
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372015
PURE UUID: d9323575-ada7-4e1d-b423-32621f2623e0

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Date deposited: 21 Nov 2014 14:34
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 09:22

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Contributors

Author: Loïs Maignien
Author: R. John Parkes
Author: Barry Cragg
Author: Helge Niemann
Author: Katrin Knittel
Author: Stephanie Coulon
Author: Andrey Akhmetzhanov
Author: Nico Boon

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