Molecular Ecological Analysis of Methanogens and Methanotrophs in Blanket Bog Peat

Microb Ecol. 1999 Oct;38(3):225-233. doi: 10.1007/s002489900172.


Abstract Methane production and methane oxidation potential were measured in a 30 cm peat core from the Moorhouse Nature Reserve, UK. The distribution of known groups of methanogens and methane oxidizing bacteria throughout this peat core was assessed. Using 16S rRNA gene retrieval and functional gene probing with genes encoding key proteins in methane oxidation and methanogenesis, several major groups of microorganisms were detected. Methane production and oxidation was detected in all depths of the peat core. PCR amplification and oligonucleotide probing experiments using DNA isolated from all sections of the peat core detected methanotrophs from the groups Methylosinus and Methylococcus and methanogens from the groups Methanosarcinaceae, Methanococcaceae, and Methanobacteriaceae. 16S rDNA sequences amplified with the Methylosinus-specific primer were shown to have a high degree of identity with 16S rDNA sequences previously detected in acidic environments. However, no methanogen sequences were detected by the probes available in this study in the sections of the peat core (above 7 cm) where the majority of methanogenesis occurred, either because of low methanogen numbers or because of the presence of novel methanogen sequences.</hea