Arctic lakes are a significant source of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4), but the role that methane oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) play in limiting the overall CH4 flux is poorly understood. Here, we used stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques to identify the metabolically active aerobic methanotrophs in upper sediments (0–1 cm) from an arctic lake in northern Alaska sampled during ice-free summer conditions. The highest CH4 oxidation potential was observed in the upper sediment (0–1 cm depth) with 1.59 μmol g wet weight-1 day-1 compared with the deeper sediment samples (1–3 cm, 3–5 cm and 5–10 cm), which exhibited CH4 oxidation potentials below 0.4 μmol g wet weight-1 day-1. Both type I and type II methanotrophs were directly detected in the upper sediment total communities using targeted primer sets based on 16S rRNA genes. Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and functional genes (pmoA and mxaF) in the 13C-DNA from the upper sediment indicated that type I methanotrophs, mainly Methylobacter, Methylosoma, Methylomonas and Methylovulum miyakonense, dominated the assimilation of CH4. Methylotrophs, including the genera Methylophilus and/or Methylotenera, were also abundant in the 13CDNA. Our results show that a diverse microbial consortium acquired carbon from CH4 in the sediments of this arctic lake.
Additional publication details
Identification of functionally active aerobic methanotrophs in sediments from an arctic lake using stable isotope probing