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Termites facilitate methane oxidation and shape the methanotrophic community

Adrian Ho (UGent) , Hans Erens (UGent) , Basile Mujinya Bazirake (UGent) , Pascal Boeckx (UGent) , Geert Baert (UGent) , Bellinda Schneider, Peter Frenzel, Nico Boon (UGent) and Eric Van Ranst (UGent)
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Abstract
Termite-derived methane contributes 3 to 4% to the total methane budget globally. Termites are not known to harbor methaneoxidizing microorganisms (methanotrophs). However, a considerable fraction of the methane produced can be consumed by methanotrophs that inhabit the mound material, yet the methanotroph ecology in these environments is virtually unknown. The potential for methane oxidation was determined using slurry incubations under conditions with high (12%) and in situ (similar to 0.004%) methane concentrations through a vertical profile of a termite (Macrotermes falciger) mound and a reference soil. Interestingly, the mound material showed higher methanotrophic activity. The methanotroph community structure was determined by means of a pmoA-based diagnostic microarray. Although the methanotrophs in the mound were derived from populations in the reference soil, it appears that termite activity selected for a distinct community. Applying an indicator species analysis revealed that putative atmospheric methane oxidizers (high-indicator-value probes specific for the JR3 cluster) were indicative of the active nest area, whereas methanotrophs belonging to both type I and type II were indicative of the reference soil. We conclude that termites modify their environment, resulting in higher methane oxidation and selecting and/or enriching for a distinct methanotroph population.
Keywords
CONSUMPTION, TRANSCRIPTION, VENTILATION, SELECTIVE STIMULATION, RICE FIELD SOIL, MONOOXYGENASE, OXIDIZING BACTERIA, DIVERSITY, MOUNDS, FOREST

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Chicago
Ho, Adrian, Hans Erens, Basile Mujinya Bazirake, Pascal Boeckx, Geert Baert, Bellinda Schneider, Peter Frenzel, Nico Boon, and Eric Van Ranst. 2013. “Termites Facilitate Methane Oxidation and Shape the Methanotrophic Community.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79 (23): 7234–7240.
APA
Ho, A., Erens, H., Mujinya Bazirake, B., Boeckx, P., Baert, G., Schneider, B., Frenzel, P., et al. (2013). Termites facilitate methane oxidation and shape the methanotrophic community. APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 79(23), 7234–7240.
Vancouver
1.
Ho A, Erens H, Mujinya Bazirake B, Boeckx P, Baert G, Schneider B, et al. Termites facilitate methane oxidation and shape the methanotrophic community. APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY. 2013;79(23):7234–40.
MLA
Ho, Adrian, Hans Erens, Basile Mujinya Bazirake, et al. “Termites Facilitate Methane Oxidation and Shape the Methanotrophic Community.” APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY 79.23 (2013): 7234–7240. Print.
@article{4195267,
  abstract     = {Termite-derived methane contributes 3 to 4\% to the total methane budget globally. Termites are not known to harbor methaneoxidizing microorganisms (methanotrophs). However, a considerable fraction of the methane produced can be consumed by methanotrophs that inhabit the mound material, yet the methanotroph ecology in these environments is virtually unknown. The potential for methane oxidation was determined using slurry incubations under conditions with high (12\%) and in situ (similar to 0.004\%) methane concentrations through a vertical profile of a termite (Macrotermes falciger) mound and a reference soil. Interestingly, the mound material showed higher methanotrophic activity. The methanotroph community structure was determined by means of a pmoA-based diagnostic microarray. Although the methanotrophs in the mound were derived from populations in the reference soil, it appears that termite activity selected for a distinct community. Applying an indicator species analysis revealed that putative atmospheric methane oxidizers (high-indicator-value probes specific for the JR3 cluster) were indicative of the active nest area, whereas methanotrophs belonging to both type I and type II were indicative of the reference soil. We conclude that termites modify their environment, resulting in higher methane oxidation and selecting and/or enriching for a distinct methanotroph population.},
  author       = {Ho, Adrian and Erens, Hans and Mujinya Bazirake, Basile and Boeckx, Pascal and Baert, Geert and Schneider, Bellinda and Frenzel, Peter and Boon, Nico and Van Ranst, Eric},
  issn         = {0099-2240},
  journal      = {APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {CONSUMPTION,TRANSCRIPTION,VENTILATION,SELECTIVE STIMULATION,RICE FIELD SOIL,MONOOXYGENASE,OXIDIZING BACTERIA,DIVERSITY,MOUNDS,FOREST},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {23},
  pages        = {7234--7240},
  title        = {Termites facilitate methane oxidation and shape the methanotrophic community},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02785-13},
  volume       = {79},
  year         = {2013},
}

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