Phylogenetic Analysis of Methanogenic Enrichment Cultures Obtained from Lonar Lake in India: Isolation of Methanocalculus sp. and Methanoculleus sp.
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The diversity of methanogenic archaea in enrichment cultures established from the sediments of Lonar Lake (India), a soda lake having pH ≈ 10, was investigated using 16S rDNA molecular phylogenetic approach. Methanogenic enrichment cultures were developed in a medium that simulated conditions of soda lake with three different substrates viz., H2:CO2, sodium acetate, and trimethylamine (TMA), at alkaline pH. Archaeal 16S rRNA clone libraries were generated from enrichment cultures and 13 RFLP groups were obtained. Representative sequence analysis of each RFLP group indicated that the majority of the 16S rRNA gene sequences were phylogenetically affiliated with uncultured Archaea. Some of the groups may belong to new archaeal genera or families. Three RFLP groups were related to Methanoculleus sp, while two related to Methanocalculus sp. 16S rRNA gene sequences found in Lonar Lake were different from sequences reported from other soda lakes and more similar to those of oil reservoirs, palm oil waste treatment digesters, and paddy fields. In culture-based studies, three isolates were obtained. Two of these were related to Methanoculleus sp. IIE1 and one to Methanocalculus sp. 01F97C. These results clearly show that the Lonar Lake ecosystem harbors unexplored methanogens.
KeywordsArchaea Enrichment Culture Soda Lake Hydrogenotrophic Methanogen Roll Tube
The study was supported by a grant from Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Government of India as a part of the study of life in extreme environments. We also thank Mr. Dheeraj Dhotre (NCCS, Pune) for his help in phylogenetic analysis.
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