TitleDiscovery of a novel methanogen prevalent in thawing permafrost.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMondav R, Woodcroft B.J., Kim E-H, McCalley CK, Hodgkins SB, Crill PM, Chanton J, Hurst GB, Verberkmoes NC, Saleska SR, Hugenholtz P, Rich VI, Tyson GW
JournalNature communications
Volume5
Pagination3212
Date Published2014 Feb 14
ISSN2041-1723
AbstractThawing 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.
DOI10.1038/ncomms4212

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