skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Communal Metabolism of Methane and the Rare Earth Element Switch

Abstract

ABSTRACT The metabolism of methane is an important part of the biogeochemical cycling of carbon. Methane is also a major contributor to climate change. A specialized group of microbes that consume methane, the methanotrophs, represent a natural filter preventing even faster accumulation of methane in the atmosphere. Methanotrophy can proceed via both anaerobic and aerobic modes. The anaerobic methanotrophs, represented by both archaea and bacteria, all appear to be engaged in syntrophic interdependencies with other species, to overcome the energetic barriers of methane metabolism in the absence of oxygen. In contrast, aerobic methanotrophy can be carried out by pure cultures of bacteria. However, a concept of communal function in aerobic methane oxidation has been gaining momentum, based on data regarding the natural cooccurrence of specific functional guilds and results from laboratory manipulations. The mechanistic details of how and why the methanotrophs share their carbon with other species, and whether and what they gain in return, are still sparse. In this minireview, we highlight recent studies that led to this new concept of community function in aerobic methane oxidation. We first describe stable isotope probing experiments employing heavy-carbon-labeled methane and tracing methane carbon consumption. We then present an analysis of datamore » on microcosm community dynamics. We further discuss the role of a synthetic community approach in elucidating the principles of carbon flow and species cooperation in methane consumption. Finally, we touch on the role of lanthanides, which are rare Earth elements previously thought to be biologically inert, in bacterial metabolism of methane.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1541707
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0016224
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Bacteriology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 199; Journal Issue: 22; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-9193
Publisher:
American Society for Microbiology
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Microbiology

Citation Formats

Yu, Zheng, Chistoserdova, Ludmila, and O'Toole, George. Communal Metabolism of Methane and the Rare Earth Element Switch. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1128/jb.00328-17.
Yu, Zheng, Chistoserdova, Ludmila, & O'Toole, George. Communal Metabolism of Methane and the Rare Earth Element Switch. United States. doi:10.1128/jb.00328-17.
Yu, Zheng, Chistoserdova, Ludmila, and O'Toole, George. Mon . "Communal Metabolism of Methane and the Rare Earth Element Switch". United States. doi:10.1128/jb.00328-17.
@article{osti_1541707,
title = {Communal Metabolism of Methane and the Rare Earth Element Switch},
author = {Yu, Zheng and Chistoserdova, Ludmila and O'Toole, George},
abstractNote = {ABSTRACT The metabolism of methane is an important part of the biogeochemical cycling of carbon. Methane is also a major contributor to climate change. A specialized group of microbes that consume methane, the methanotrophs, represent a natural filter preventing even faster accumulation of methane in the atmosphere. Methanotrophy can proceed via both anaerobic and aerobic modes. The anaerobic methanotrophs, represented by both archaea and bacteria, all appear to be engaged in syntrophic interdependencies with other species, to overcome the energetic barriers of methane metabolism in the absence of oxygen. In contrast, aerobic methanotrophy can be carried out by pure cultures of bacteria. However, a concept of communal function in aerobic methane oxidation has been gaining momentum, based on data regarding the natural cooccurrence of specific functional guilds and results from laboratory manipulations. The mechanistic details of how and why the methanotrophs share their carbon with other species, and whether and what they gain in return, are still sparse. In this minireview, we highlight recent studies that led to this new concept of community function in aerobic methane oxidation. We first describe stable isotope probing experiments employing heavy-carbon-labeled methane and tracing methane carbon consumption. We then present an analysis of data on microcosm community dynamics. We further discuss the role of a synthetic community approach in elucidating the principles of carbon flow and species cooperation in methane consumption. Finally, we touch on the role of lanthanides, which are rare Earth elements previously thought to be biologically inert, in bacterial metabolism of methane.},
doi = {10.1128/jb.00328-17},
journal = {Journal of Bacteriology},
issn = {0021-9193},
number = 22,
volume = 199,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {6}
}