Methanogenic Archaea In Peatlands

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanna Brauer Ph.D., Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Methane emission feedbacks in wetlands are predicted to influence global climate under climate change and other anthropogenic stressors. Herein, we review the taxonomy and physiological ecology of the microorganisms responsible for methane production in peatlands. Common in peat soils are five of the eight described orders of methanogens spanning three phyla (Euryarchaeota, Halobacterota and Thermoplasmatota). The phylogenetic affiliation of sequences found in peat suggest that members of the thus-far-uncultivated group Candidatus Bathyarchaeota (representing a fourth phylum) may be involved in methane cycling, either anaerobic oxidation of methane and/or methanogenesis, as at least a few organisms within this group contain the essential gene, mcrA, according to metagenomic data. Methanogens in peatlands are notoriously challenging to enrich and isolate; thus, much remains unknown about their physiology and how methanogen communities will respond to environmental changes. Consistent patterns of changes in methanogen communities have been reported across studies in permafrost peatland thaw where the resulting degraded feature is thermokarst. However much remains to be understood regarding methanogen community feedbacks to altered hydrology and warming in other contexts, enhanced atmospheric pollution (N, S and metals) loading and direct anthropogenic disturbances to peatlands like drainage, horticultural peat extraction, forestry and agriculture, as well as post-disturbance reclamation.

Additional Information

Brauer SL, Basiliko N, Siljanen HMP, Zinder SH. Methanogenic archaea in peatlands. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 2020;367(20):1f. doi:10.1093/femsle/fnaa172. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2020
methane, fen, bog, climate, sedge, permafrost

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