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Aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophs in the Black Sea water column

Authors

  • Carsten J. Schubert,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surface Waters, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Seestrasse 79, CH-6047 Kastanienbaum, Switzerland.
      *E-mail carsten.schubert@eawag.ch; Tel. (+41) 41 349 2195; Fax (+41) 41 349 2168.
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  • Marco J. L. Coolen,

    1. Department of Marine Biogeochemistry and Toxicology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, the Netherlands.
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    • Present address: Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) 360 Woods Hole Road, MA 02543, USA.

  • Lev N. Neretin,

    1. Nutrient Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstrasse 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany.
    2. Section Geomicrobiology, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover, Germany.
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  • Axel Schippers,

    1. Section Geomicrobiology, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover, Germany.
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  • Ben Abbas,

    1. Department of Marine Biogeochemistry and Toxicology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, the Netherlands.
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  • Edith Durisch-Kaiser,

    1. Department of Surface Waters, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Seestrasse 79, CH-6047 Kastanienbaum, Switzerland.
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  • Bernhard Wehrli,

    1. Department of Surface Waters, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Seestrasse 79, CH-6047 Kastanienbaum, Switzerland.
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  • Ellen C. Hopmans,

    1. Department of Marine Biogeochemistry and Toxicology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, the Netherlands.
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  • Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté,

    1. Department of Marine Biogeochemistry and Toxicology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, the Netherlands.
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  • Stuart Wakeham,

    1. Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, USA.
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  • Marcel M. M. Kuypers

    1. Nutrient Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstrasse 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany.
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*E-mail carsten.schubert@eawag.ch; Tel. (+41) 41 349 2195; Fax (+41) 41 349 2168.

Summary

Inputs of CH4 from sediments, including methane seeps on the continental margin and methane-rich mud volcanoes on the abyssal plain, make the Black Sea the world’s largest surface water reservoir of dissolved methane and drive a high rate of aerobic and anaerobic oxidation of methane in the water column. Here we present the first combined organic geochemical and molecular ecology data on a water column profile of the western Black Sea. We show that aerobic methanotrophs type I are responsible for methane oxidation in the oxic water column and ANME-1- and ANME-2-related organisms for anaerobic methane oxidation. The occurrence of methanotrophs type I cells in the anoxic zone suggests that inactive cells settle to deeper waters. Molecular and biomarker results suggest that a clear distinction between the occurrence of ANME-1- and ANME-2-related lineages exists, i.e. ANME-1-related organisms are responsible for anaerobic methane oxidation below 600 m water depth, whereas ANME-2-related organisms are responsible for this process in the anoxic water column above approximately 600 m water depth.

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