Detection of putatively thermophilic anaerobic methanotrophs in diffuse hydrothermal vent fluids. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is carried out by a globally distributed group of uncultivated Euryarchaeota, the anaerobic methanotrophic arachaea (ANME). In this work, we used G+C analysis of 16S rRNA genes to identify a putatively thermophilic ANME group and applied newly designed primers to study its distribution in low-temperature diffuse vent fluids from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. We found that the G+C content of the 16S rRNA genes (P(GC)) is significantly higher in the ANME-1GBa group than in other ANME groups. Based on the positive correlation between the P(GC) and optimal growth temperatures (T(opt)) of archaea, we hypothesize that the ANME-1GBa group is adapted to thrive at high temperatures. We designed specific 16S rRNA gene-targeted primers for the ANME-1 cluster to detect all phylogenetic groups within this cluster, including the deeply branching ANME-1GBa group. The primers were successfully tested both in silico and in experiments with sediment samples where ANME-1 phylotypes had previously been detected. The primers were further used to screen for the ANME-1 microorganisms in diffuse vent fluid samples from deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean, and sequences belonging to the ANME-1 cluster were detected in four individual vents. Phylotypes belonging to the ANME-1GBa group dominated in clone libraries from three of these vents. Our findings provide evidence of existence of a putatively extremely thermophilic group of methanotrophic archaea that occur in geographically and geologically distinct marine hydrothermal habitats.

publication date

  • February 2013