Detection of putatively thermophilic anaerobic methanotrophs (ANMEs) in diffuse hydrothermal vent fluids Journal Article

Authors: Merkel, Alexander Y.; Huber, Julie A.; Chernyh, Nikolay A.; Bonch-Osmolovskaya, Elizaveta A.; Lebedinsky, Alexander V.
Article Title: Detection of putatively thermophilic anaerobic methanotrophs (ANMEs) in diffuse hydrothermal vent fluids
Abstract: The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is carried out by a globally distributed group of uncultivated Euryarchaeota, the anaerobic methanotrophic arachaea (ANME). In this work, we used G+C analysis of 16S rRNA genes to identify a putatively thermophilic ANME group and applied newly designed primers to study its distribution in low-temperature diffuse vent fluids from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. We found that the G+C content of the 16S rRNA genes (Pgc) is significantly higher in the ANME-1GBa group than in other ANME groups. Based on the positive correlation between the Pgc and optimal growth temperatures (Topt) of archaea, we hypothesize that the ANME-1GBa group is adapted to thrive at high temperatures. We designed specific 16S rRNA gene-targeted primers for the ANME-1 cluster to detect all phylogenetic groups within this cluster including the deeply branching ANME-1GBa group. The primers were successfully tested both in silico and in experiments with sediment samples where ANME-1 phylotypes had previously been detected. The primers were further used to screen for the ANME-1 microorganisms in diffuse vent fluid samples from deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean, and sequences belonging to the ANME-1 cluster were detected in four individual vents. Phylotypes belonging to the ANME-1GBa group dominated in clone libraries from three of these vents. Our findings provide evidence of existence of a putatively extremely thermophilic group of methanotrophic archaea that occur in geographically and geologically distinct marine hydrothermal habitats.
Journal Title: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume: 79
Issue: 3
ISSN: 0099-2240
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology  
Date Published: 2013
Start Page: 915
End Page: 923