A novel pmoA lineage represented by the acidophilic methanotrophic bacterium Methylocapsa acidophila B2
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A fragment of the functional gene pmoA, which encodes the active-site polypeptide of particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO), was PCR-amplified from DNA of the recently described acidophilic methanotrophic bacterium Methylocapsa acidophila B2. This methanotroph was isolated from an acidic Sphagnum peat bog and possesses a novel type III arrangement of intracytoplasmic membranes. Comparative sequence analysis revealed that the inferred peptide sequence of pmoA of Methylocapsa acidophila B2 belongs to a novel PmoA lineage. This lineage was only distantly related to the PmoA sequence cluster of type II methanotrophs, with identity values between 69.5% and 72%. The identity values between the PmoA of Methylocapsa acidophila B2 and PmoA sequences of type I methanotrophs ranged from 55.5 to 68%. However, the PmoA of this acidophilic methanotroph was more closely affiliated with the inferred peptide sequences of pmoA clones retrieved from various acidic upland soils showing atmospheric methane consumption. The PmoA identity values with these clones were 79.5–81%. Nonetheless, the apparent affinity for methane exhibited by Methylocapsa acidophila B2 was 1–2 µM, which is similar to values measured in other methanotrophic bacteria. This finding suggests that the pMMO of Methylocapsa acidophila B2 is not a novel enzyme specialized to have a high affinity for methane and that apparent "high-affinity" methane uptake is either the result of particular culture conditions or is performed by another pMMO type.
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