Activity, structure and dynamics of the methanogenic archaeal community in a flooded Italian rice field.


:Methane production was studied in an Italian rice field over two consecutive years (1998, 1999) by measuring the rates of total and acetate-dependent methanogenesis in soil and root samples. Population dynamics of methanogens were followed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and real-time PCR targeting archaeal SSU rRNA genes. Rates of total and acetate-dependent methanogenesis in soil increased during the season, reached a maximum at about 70-80 days after flooding and then decreased again. In contrast, the size of the archaeal community remained relatively constant. Therefore, the seasonal changes in the methanogenic processes were probably not caused by changes in the size of the methanogenic community but in its activity. During the 1998/1999 winter period, a slight decrease in archaeal cell numbers was found. In both years, the dominant groups were methanogens affiliated with Rice cluster I, Methanosaetaceae, Methanosarcinaceae and Methanobacteriaceae. Correspondence analysis showed, however, that the archaeal community structure was different in 1998 and 1999. Methanogens with potential acetoclastic activity made up a larger fraction of the total archaeal community in 1999 (32-53%) than in 1998 (20-32%). Furthermore, the frequency of Methanosaetaceae relative to Methanosarcinaceae was significantly higher in 1999 than in 1998. This difference could be explained by the much lower soil acetate concentrations in 1999, to which Methanosaetaceae are physiologically better adapted than Methanosarcinaceae. Over the season, however, the composition of the archaeal community remained relatively constant and thus did not reflect the observed seasonal change in CH(4) production activity. The analysis of rice root samples in 1999 showed that the archaeal community structure on the roots was similar to that in soil but with acetoclastic methanogens being relatively less common. This observation is in agreement with domination of CH(4) production by H(2)/CO(2)-dependent methanogenesis on roots. Our study provided a link between size, structure and function of the methanogenic community in an Italian rice field.


FEMS Microbiol Ecol


Krüger M,Frenzel P,Kemnitz D,Conrad R




Has Abstract


2005-02-01 00:00:00














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