Nitrite-driven anaerobic methane oxidation by oxygenic bacteria

Ettwig, Katharina F., Butler, Margaret K., Le Paslier, Denis, Pelletier, Eric, Mangenot, Sophie, Kuypers, Marcel M. M., Schreiber, Frank, Dutilh, Bas E., Zedelius, Johannes, de Beer, Dirk, Gloerich, Jolein, Wessels, Hans J. C. T., van Alen, Theo, Luesken, Francisca, Wu, Ming L., van de Pas-Schoonen, Katinka T., Op den Camp, Huub J. M., Janssen-Megens, Eva M., Francoijs, Kees-Jan, Stunnenberg, Henk, Weissenbach, Jean, Jetten, Mike S. M. and Strous, Marc (2010) Nitrite-driven anaerobic methane oxidation by oxygenic bacteria. Nature, 464 7288: 543-548. doi:10.1038/nature08883

Author Ettwig, Katharina F.
Butler, Margaret K.
Le Paslier, Denis
Pelletier, Eric
Mangenot, Sophie
Kuypers, Marcel M. M.
Schreiber, Frank
Dutilh, Bas E.
Zedelius, Johannes
de Beer, Dirk
Gloerich, Jolein
Wessels, Hans J. C. T.
van Alen, Theo
Luesken, Francisca
Wu, Ming L.
van de Pas-Schoonen, Katinka T.
Op den Camp, Huub J. M.
Janssen-Megens, Eva M.
Francoijs, Kees-Jan
Stunnenberg, Henk
Weissenbach, Jean
Jetten, Mike S. M.
Strous, Marc
Title Nitrite-driven anaerobic methane oxidation by oxygenic bacteria
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-0836
Publication date 2010-03-25
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nature08883
Volume 464
Issue 7288
Start page 543
End page 548
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Only three biological pathways are known to produce oxygen: photosynthesis, chlorate respiration and the detoxification of reactive oxygen species. Here we present evidence for a fourth pathway, possibly of considerable geochemical and evolutionary importance. The pathway was discovered after metagenomic sequencing of an enrichment culture that couples anaerobic oxidation of methane with the reduction of nitrite to dinitrogen. The complete genome of the dominant bacterium, named ‘Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera’, was assembled. This apparently anaerobic, denitrifying bacterium encoded, transcribed and expressed the well-established aerobic pathway for methane oxidation, whereas it lacked known genes for dinitrogen production. Subsequent isotopic labelling indicated that ‘M. oxyfera’ bypassed the denitrification intermediate nitrous oxide by the conversion of two nitric oxide molecules to dinitrogen and oxygen, which was used to oxidize methane. These results extend our understanding of hydrocarbon degradation under anoxic conditions and explain the biochemical mechanism of a poorly understood freshwater methane sink. Because nitrogen oxides were already present on early Earth, our finding opens up the possibility that oxygen was available to microbial metabolism before the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis.
© 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Keyword Bacterium
Methane oxidation
Anaerobic oxidation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 405 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 432 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 09 Mar 2011, 11:16:05 EST by Melanie Gibbons on behalf of Aust Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology