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Methanogen genotypes involved in methane formation during anaerobic decomposition of Microcystis blooms at different temperatures

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The main goal of this work was to determine which methanogens were present during the anaerobic degradation of Microcystis biomass in the water columns of freshwater lakes. Simulation experiments were performed in which 30 ml Microcystis slurries were anaerobically incubated in 60 ml airtight bottles at three temperatures (15, 25, and 35 °C) for over 90 days. The production of CH4 was monitored, and the methanogenic community was analyzed by cloning and sequencing the mcrA genes in samples incubated at the three different temperatures. In total, four clusters were detected at different temperatures by phylogenetic analysis of mcrA genes; these included members of Methanomicrobiales, Methanobacteriaceae, and Methanosarcina. An apparent linkage between temperature and phylogeny of the methanogenic community was observed: Methanomicrobiales and Methanobacteriaceae dominated the incubation system at the lower temperatures of 15 and 25 °C, whereas Methanosarcina prevailed at 35 °C. The dominance of these hydrogenotrophic methanogens suggested that, at least at lower temperatures, H2 and CO2 might be the primary substrates for CH4 production during Microcystis anaerobic decomposition.

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We thank Xing Jin and Chengsheng Long for their assistance in conducting the entire experiment. This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 program) (No. 2008CB418104) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31000241).

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Correspondence to Peng Xing.

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Xing, P., Zheng, J., Li, H. et al. Methanogen genotypes involved in methane formation during anaerobic decomposition of Microcystis blooms at different temperatures. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 29, 373–377 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11274-012-1191-2

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  • mcrA
  • Methane
  • Microcystis blooms
  • Water column