• Activity and composition of methanotrophic bacterial communities in planted rice soil studied by flux measurements, analyses of pmoA gene and stable isotope probing of phospholipid fatty acids.

      Shrestha, Minita; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Shrestha, Pravin Malla; Noll, Matthias; Conrad, Ralf; Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse, D-35043, Marburg, Germany. (2008-02)
      Methanotrophs in the rhizosphere of rice field ecosystems attenuate the emissions of CH(4) into the atmosphere and thus play an important role for the global cycle of this greenhouse gas. Therefore, we measured the activity and composition of the methanotrophic community in the rhizosphere of rice microcosms. Methane oxidation was determined by measuring the CH(4) flux in the presence and absence of difluoromethane as a specific inhibitor for methane oxidation. Methane oxidation started on day 24 and reached the maximum on day 32 after transplantation. The total methanotrophic community was analysed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and cloning/sequencing of the pmoA gene, which encodes a subunit of particulate methane monooxygenase. The metabolically active methanotrophic community was analysed by stable isotope probing of microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA-SIP) using (13)C-labelled CH(4) directly added to the rhizospheric region. Rhizospheric soil and root samples were collected after exposure to (13)CH(4) for 8 and 18 days. Both T-RFLP/cloning and PLFA-SIP approaches showed that type I and type II methanotrophic populations changed over time with respect to activity and population size in the rhizospheric soil and on the rice roots. However, type I methanotrophs were more active than type II methanotrophs at both time points indicating they were of particular importance in the rhizosphere. PLFA-SIP showed that the active methanotrophic populations exhibit a pronounced spatial and temporal variation in rice microcosms.
    • Asticcacaulis benevestitus sp. nov., a psychrotolerant, dimorphic, prosthecate bacterium from tundra wetland soil.

      Vasilyeva, Lina V; Omelchenko, Marina V; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Lysenko, Anatolii M; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Dedysh, Svetlana N; Zavarzin, George A; S. N. Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Prospect 60-let Octyabrya 7/2, Moscow 117312, Russia. (2006-09)
      A Gram-negative, aerobic, heterotrophic, non-pigmented, dimorphic prosthecate bacterium was isolated from tundra wetland soil and designated strain Z-0023(T). Cells of this strain had a dimorphic life cycle and developed a non-adhesive stalk at a site not coincident with the centre of the cell pole, a characteristic typical of representatives of the genus Asticcacaulis. A highly distinctive feature of cells of strain Z-0023(T) was the presence of a conical, bell-shaped sheath when grown at low temperature. This prosthecate bacterium was a psychrotolerant, moderately acidophilic organism capable of growth between 4 and 28 degrees Celsius (optimum 15-20 degrees Celsius) and between pH 4.5 and 8.0 (optimum 5.6-6.0). The major phospholipid fatty acid was 18 : 1omega7c and the major phospholipids were phosphatidylglycerols. The G+C content of the DNA was 60.4 mol%. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, strain Z-0023(T) was most closely related to Asticcacaulis biprosthecium (98 % similarity), Asticcacaulis taihuensis (98 %) and Asticcacaulis excentricus (95 %). However, low levels of DNA-DNA relatedness to these organisms and a number of distinctive features of the tundra wetland isolate indicated that it represented a novel species of the genus Asticcacaulis, for which the name Asticcacaulis benevestitus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Z-0023(T) (=DSM 16100(T)=ATCC BAA-896(T)).
    • Spatial variation of active microbiota in the rice rhizosphere revealed by in situ stable isotope probing of phospholipid fatty acids.

      Lu, Yahai; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Conrad, Ralf; College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, China. (2007-02)
      This report is part of a serial study applying stable isotope labelling to rice microcosms to track the utilization of recently photosynthesized carbon by active microbiota in the rhizosphere. The objective of the present study was to apply phospholipid fatty acid-based stable isotope probing (PLFA-SIP) to detect the spatial variation of active microorganisms associated with rhizosphere carbon flow. In total, 49 pulses of 13CO2 were applied to rice plants in a microcosm over a period of 7 days. Rhizosphere soil was separated from bulk soil by a root bag. Soil samples were taken from rhizosphere and bulk soil, and the bulk soil samples were further partitioned both vertically (up layer and down layer) and horizontally with increasing distance to the root bag. Incorporation of 13C into PLFAs sharply decreased with distance to the roots. The labelling of 16:1omega9, 18:1omega7, 18:1omega9, 18:2omega6,9 and i14:0 PLFAs was relatively stronger in the rhizosphere while that of i15:0 and i17:0 increased in the bulk soil. The microorganisms associated with 16:1omega9 were active in both up- and down-layer soils. The microorganisms represented by i14:0, 18:1omega7 and 18:2omega6,9 exhibited a relatively higher activity in up-layer soil, whereas those represented by i15:0 and i17:0 were more active in down-layer soil. These results suggest that in the rhizosphere Gram-negative and eukaryotic microorganisms were most actively assimilating root-derived C, whereas Gram-positive microorganisms became relatively more important in the bulk soil. The active populations apparently differed between up- and down-layer soil and in particular changed with distance to the roots, demonstrating systematic changes in the activity of the soil microbiota surrounding roots.
    • Three stages of a biofilm community developing at the liquid-liquid interface between polychlorinated biphenyls and water.

      Macedo, Alexandre José; Kuhlicke, Ute; Neu, Thomas R; Timmis, Kenneth N; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; GBF-National Research Center for Biotechnology, Environmental Microbiology, Mascheroder Weg 1, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2005-11)
      Soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) was used as an inoculum to grow a complex biofilm community on PCB oil (Aroclor 1242) on a substratum (Permanox). The biofilm was monitored for 31 days by confocal laser scanning microscopy, community fingerprinting using single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP), amplicons of the 16S rRNA genes, and chemical analyses of the PCB congeners. SSCP analysis of the young biofilm revealed a rather diverse microbial community with species of the genera Herbaspirillum and Bradyrhizobium as dominant members. The biofilm developing on the PCB droplets displayed pronounced stages of PCB degradation and biofilm development not described before from pure-culture experiments. The first step was the colonization of the substratum while the PCB oil was hardly populated. When a certain density of bacteria was reached on the Permanox, the PCB was colonized, but soon the degradation of the congeners was markedly reduced and many cells were damaged, as seen by LIVE/DEAD staining. Finally, the biofilm formed aggregates and invaded the PCB oil, showing lower numbers of damaged cells than before and a dramatic increase in PCB degradation. This sequence of biofilm formation is understood as a maturation process prior to PCB oil colonization. This is followed by a thin biofilm on the PCB droplet, an aggregation process forming pockets in the PCB, and finally an invasion of the biofilm into the PCB oil. Only the mature biofilm showed degradation of pentachlorinated PCB congeners, which may be reductively dechlorinated and the resulting trichlorobiphenyls then aerobically metabolized.