Anaerobic oxidation of methane associated with sulfate reduction in a natural freshwater gas source

P.H.A. Timmers, D.A. Suarez Zuluaga, R. van Rossem, M. Diender, A.J.M. Stams, C.M. Plugge

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61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The occurrence of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and trace methane oxidation (TMO) was investigated in a freshwater natural gas source. Sediment samples were taken and analyzed for potential electron acceptors coupled to AOM. Long-term incubations with 13C-labeled CH4 (13CH4) and different electron acceptors showed that both AOM and TMO occurred. In most conditions, 13C-labeled CO2 (13CO2) simultaneously increased with methane formation, which is typical for TMO. In the presence of nitrate, neither methane formation nor methane oxidation occurred. Net AOM was measured only with sulfate as electron acceptor. Here, sulfide production occurred simultaneously with 13CO2 production and no methanogenesis occurred, excluding TMO as a possible source for 13CO2 production from 13CH4. Archaeal 16S rRNA gene analysis showed the highest presence of ANME-2a/b (ANaerobic MEthane oxidizing archaea) and AAA (AOM Associated Archaea) sequences in the incubations with methane and sulfate as compared with only methane addition. Higher abundance of ANME-2a/b in incubations with methane and sulfate as compared with only sulfate addition was shown by qPCR analysis. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene analysis showed the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria belonging to SEEP-SRB1. This is the first report that explicitly shows that AOM is associated with sulfate reduction in an enrichment culture of ANME-2a/b and AAA methanotrophs and SEEP-SRB1 sulfate reducers from a low-saline environment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1400-1412
JournalISME Journal
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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