Niche differentiation of denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidizing bacteria and archaea leads to effective methane filtration in a Tibetan alpine wetland
Fei Xiea,b, Anzhou Maa,b, Hanchang Zhoua,b, Yu Lianga,b, Jun Yina,b, Ke Maa,b,c, Xuliang Zhuanga,b, Guoqiang Zhuanga,b
Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100085 Beijing, China.
Denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation (DAMO) is a vital methane sink in wetlands. However, the interactions and niche partitioning of DAMO bacteria and archaea in freshwater wetland soils, in addition to the interactions among microorganisms that couple methane and nitrogen cycling is still unclear, despite that these factors may govern the fate of methane and nitrogen in wetlands. Here, we evaluated the vertical distribution of DAMO bacteria and archaea in soil layers along with the potential interactions among populations in the methane-coupled nitrogen cycling microbial community of Tibetan freshwater wetlands. A combination of molecular biology, stable isotope tracer technology, and microbial bioinformatics was used to evaluate these interrelated dynamics. The abundances and potential methane oxidation rates indicated that DAMO bacteria and archaea differentially occupy surface and subsurface soil layers, respectively. The inferred interactions between DAMO bacteria and nitrogen cycling microorganisms within their communities are complex, DAMO bacteria apparently achieve an advantage in the highly competitive environment of surface soils layers and occupy a specific niche in those environments. Conversely, the apparent relationships between DAMO archaea and nitrogen cycling microorganisms are relatively simple, wherein high levels of cooperation are inferred between DAMO archaea and nitrate-producing organisms in subsurface soils layers. These results suggest that the vertical distribution patterns of DAMO bacteria and archaea enable them to play significant roles in the methane oxidation activity of different soil layers and collectively form an effective methane filtration consortium.
Keywords: Methane filtration, NC10, ANME-2d, Niche differentiation, Alpine wetland.