Iron oxides act as an alternative electron acceptor for aerobic methanotrophs in anoxic lake sediments
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Conventional aerobic CH4-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) are frequently detected in anoxic environments, but their survival strategy and ecological contribution are still enigmatic. Here we explore the role of MOB in enrichment cultures under O2 gradients and an iron-rich lake sediment in situ by combining microbiological and geochemical techniques. We found that enriched MOB consortium used ferric oxides as alternative electron acceptors for oxidizing CH4 with the help of riboflavin when O2 was unavailable. Within the MOB consortium, MOB transformed CH4 to low molecular weight organic matter such as acetate for consortium bacteria as a carbon source, while the latter secrete riboflavin to facilitate extracellular electron transfer (EET). Iron reduction coupled to CH4 oxidation mediated by the MOB consortium was also demonstrated in situ, reducing 40.3% of the CH4 emission in the studied lake sediment. Our study indicates how MOBs survive under anoxia and expands the knowledge of this previously overlooked CH4 sink in iron-rich sediments.
Biao Li, Ye Tao, Zhendu Mao, Qiujin Gu, Yixuan Han, Baolan Hu, Hongwei Wang, Anxing Lai, Peng Xing, Qinglong L Wu, Iron oxides act as an alternative electron acceptor for aerobic methanotrophs in anoxic lake sediments, Water Research, 234, 2023, 119833, doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2023.119833.