Discovery of a novel methanogen prevalent in thawing permafrost

Mondav, Rhiannon, Woodcroft, Ben J., Kim, Eun-Hae, McCalley, Carmody K., Hodgkins, Suzanne B., Crill, Patrick M., Chanton, Jeffrey, Hurst, Gregory B., VerBerkmoes, Nathan C., Saleska, Scott R., Hugenholtz, Philip, Rich, Virginia I. and Tyson, Gene W. (2014) Discovery of a novel methanogen prevalent in thawing permafrost. Nature Communications, 5 3212.1-3212.7. doi:10.1038/ncomms4212

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Author Mondav, Rhiannon
Woodcroft, Ben J.
Kim, Eun-Hae
McCalley, Carmody K.
Hodgkins, Suzanne B.
Crill, Patrick M.
Chanton, Jeffrey
Hurst, Gregory B.
VerBerkmoes, Nathan C.
Saleska, Scott R.
Hugenholtz, Philip
Rich, Virginia I.
Tyson, Gene W.
Title Discovery of a novel methanogen prevalent in thawing permafrost
Journal name Nature Communications   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2041-1723
Publication date 2014-02-14
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/ncomms4212
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 5
Start page 3212.1
End page 3212.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Thawing permafrost promotes microbial degradation of cryo-sequestered and new carbon leading to the biogenic production of methane, creating a positive feedback to climate change. Here we determine microbial community composition along a permafrost thaw gradient in northern Sweden. Partially thawed sites were frequently dominated by a single archaeal phylotype, Candidatus 'Methanoflorens stordalenmirensis' gen. nov. sp. nov., belonging to the uncultivated lineage 'Rice Cluster II' (Candidatus 'Methanoflorentaceae' fam. nov.). Metagenomic sequencing led to the recovery of its near-complete genome, revealing the genes necessary for hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. These genes are highly expressed and methane carbon isotope data are consistent with hydrogenotrophic production of methane in the partially thawed site. In addition to permafrost wetlands, 'Methanoflorentaceae' are widespread in high methane-flux habitats suggesting that this lineage is both prevalent and a major contributor to global methane production. In thawing permafrost, Candidatus 'M. stordalenmirensis' appears to be a key mediator of methane-based positive feedback to climate warming.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Thu, 20 Mar 2014, 00:43:42 EST by Anthony Yeates on behalf of School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences