Aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophs in the Black Sea water column.Environ Microbiol. 2006 Oct; 8(10):1844-56.EM
Inputs of CH(4) from sediments, including methane seeps on the continental margin and methane-rich mud volcanoes on the abyssal plain, make the Black Sea the world's largest surface water reservoir of dissolved methane and drive a high rate of aerobic and anaerobic oxidation of methane in the water column. Here we present the first combined organic geochemical and molecular ecology data on a water column profile of the western Black Sea. We show that aerobic methanotrophs type I are responsible for methane oxidation in the oxic water column and ANME-1- and ANME-2-related organisms for anaerobic methane oxidation. The occurrence of methanotrophs type I cells in the anoxic zone suggests that inactive cells settle to deeper waters. Molecular and biomarker results suggest that a clear distinction between the occurrence of ANME-1- and ANME-2-related lineages exists, i.e. ANME-1-related organisms are responsible for anaerobic methane oxidation below 600 m water depth, whereas ANME-2-related organisms are responsible for this process in the anoxic water column above approximately 600 m water depth.