ANME-2D Archaea Catalyze Methane Oxidation in Deep Subsurface Sediments Independent of Nitrate Reduction
Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Terrestrial sediments are an important global reservoir for methane. Microorganisms in the deep subsurface play a critical role in the methane cycle, yet much remains to be learned about their diversity and metabolisms. To provide more comprehensive insight into the microbiology of the methane cycle in the deep subsurface, we conducted a genome-resolved study of samples collected from the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (HURL), Japan. Groundwater samples were obtained from three boreholes from a depth range of between 140 m and 250 m in two consecutive years. Groundwater was filtered and metagenomic DNA extracted and sequenced, and the sequence data assembled. Based on the sequences of phylogenetically informative genes on the assembled fragments, we detected a high degree of overlap in community composition across a vertical transect within one borehole at the two sampling times. However, there was comparatively little similarity observed among communities across boreholes. Spatial and temporal abundance patterns were used in combination with tetranucleotide signatures of assembled genome fragments to bin the data and reconstruct over 200 unique draft genomes, of which 137 are considered to be of high quality (>90% complete). The deepest samples from one borehole were highly dominated by an archaeon identified as ANME-2D; this organism was also present at lower abundance in all other samples from that borehole. Also abundant in these microbial communities were novel members of the Gammaproteobacteria, Saccharibacteria (TM7) and Tenericute phyla. Notably, a ~2 Mbp draft genome for the ANME-2D archaeon was reconstructed. As expected, the genome encodes all of the genes predicted to be involved in the reverse methanogenesis pathway. In contrast with the previously reported ANME2-D genome, the HURL ANME-2D genome lacks the capacity to reduce nitrate. However, we identified many multiheme cytochromes with closest similarity to those of the known Fe-reducing/oxidizing archaeon Ferroglobus placidus. Thus, we suggest that ANME2-D may couple methane oxidation to reduction of ferric iron minerals in the sediment and may be generally important as a link between the iron and methane cycles in deep subsurface environments. Such information has important implications for modeling the global carbon cycle.