Enrichment Of Peat Yields Novel Methanogens: Approaches For Obtaining Uncultured Organisms In The Age Of Rapid Sequencing

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 )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Methanogens are among the oldest forms of life on Earth and are detectable in a wide range of environments, but our knowledge of their overall diversity and functioning is limited. Peatlands in particular host a broad range of methanogens that contribute large amounts of methane to the atmosphere, but are largely under-represented in pure cultures. Here, we anaerobically enriched peat with common growth substrates, supplements and antibiotics to identifying novel methanogen sequences and potential growth conditions. Over 3 years, we obtained 28 new mcrA sequences from taxa that have remained previously uncultured and undescribed beyond distantly related clones or sequences detected in environmental samples. Evidence suggests that the novel methanogens, representing five of the seven known orders, were capable of growing on H2 as well as acetate and at temperatures ranging from 6 to ca. 22°C. Methods involving the use of ampicillin proved useful, although obtaining high methane production in the absence of H2 was difficult. Our results also indicate that many methanogens may rely on bacterial symbionts (commonly Clostridium spp.). Such enrichment approaches represent a useful intermediary between maker-gene detection and isolation, allowing us to broaden our understanding of methanogen physiological ecology while potentially providing valuable sequence data.

Additional Information

Michael A Carson, Suzanna Bräuer, Nathan Basiliko, Enrichment of peat yields novel methanogens: approaches for obtaining uncultured organisms in the age of rapid sequencing, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Volume 95, Issue 2, February 2019, fiz001, https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiz001. Publisher version of record available at: https://academic.oup.com/femsec/article/95/2/fiz001/5289378
Language: English
Date: 2019
methanogens, anaerobic culturing, peatlands, enrichments, mcrA

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