Methanotrophic bacteria associated to rice roots: the cultivar effect assessed by T-RFLP and microarray analysis


E-mail; Tel. (+49) 6421 178820; Fax (+49) 6421 178809.

Present address: CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.


Rice plants play a key role in regulating methane emissions from paddy fields by affecting both underlying processes: methane production and oxidation. Specific differences were reported for methane oxidation rates; however, studies on the bacterial communities involved are rare. Here, we analysed the methanotrophic community on the roots of 18 different rice cultivars by pmoA-based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and microarray analysis. Both techniques showed comparable and consistent results revealing a high diversity dominated by type II and type Ib methanotrophs. pmoA microarrays have been successfully used to study methane-oxidizing bacteria in various environments. However, the microarray's full potential resolving community structure has not been exploited yet. Here, we provide an example on how to include this information into multivariate statistics. The analysis revealed a rice cultivar effect on the methanotroph community composition that could be affiliated to the plant genotype. This effect became only significant by including the specific phylogenetic resolution provided by the microarray into the statistical analysis.