TECHNICAL ARTICLESPOTENTIAL ACTIVITY AND DIVERSITY OF METHANOTROPHIC BACTERIA IN FOREST SOIL, PEAT, AND SEDIMENTS FROM A HYDROELECTRIC RESERVOIR (ROBERT-BOURASSA) AND LAKES IN THE CANADIAN TAIGAJugnia, Louis-B.1,3; Roy, R.2,3; Pacheco-Oliver, M.1; Planas, D.3; Miguez, C. B.1; Greer, C. W.1Author Information 1Biotechnology Research Institute, National Research Council Canada, 6100 Royalmount Avenue, Montreal Quebec, Canada H4P 2R2. 2Department of Biology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3020 Stn CSC. Victoria, British Colombia, Canada V8W 3N5. 3GEOTOP, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888 Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8. Dr. Roy is corresponding author. E-mail: [email protected] Received April 12, 2005; accepted August 18, 2005 Soil Science: February 2006 - Volume 171 - Issue 2 - p 127-137 doi: 10.1097/01.ss.0000187362.77729.16 Buy Metrics Abstract The potential activity and diversity of methanotrophic bacteria in samples from forest soil, peat, and sediment from a hydroelectric reservoir (Robert-Bourassa) and lakes located in the sub-arctic taiga were studied. Incubation experiments with soil slurries, methanotrophic bacterial counts, and direct PCR amplification of genes specific to methanotrophic bacteria were carried out on soil and sediment samples from three locations (nonflooded, periodically flooded, and flooded) from the reservoir. Sediments from three lakes located near the reservoir were also sampled to compare with nearby unperturbed aquatic systems. Only the uppermost part (5-10 cm) of soils and sediments was analyzed. Regardless of the incubation temperature, potential methane (CH4) oxidation rates were lower (0.028-0.066 μmol CH4 g−1 soil d−1) in nonflooded forest soil compared to lacustrine sediments that exhibited potential oxidation rates generally close to those observed in periodically flooded or flooded forest soil (0.04-0.14 μmol CH4 g−1 soil d−1), but far below the range of values (0.20-0.58 μmol CH4 g−1 soil d−1) recorded in peat systems. Samples from flooded forest soil and peat had higher CH4 uptake activity, but this could not be related to a greater number of methanotrophic bacteria (pmoA probe-positive colonies). Analysis of genes specific to methanotrophic bacteria revealed a low diversity in the methanotrophic community, with the genus Methylocystis being dominant. Overall, samples of flooded soil and peat with higher CH4 production rates also had higher rates of CH4 oxidation by methanotrophic bacteria. Flooding also seems to modify the resilience of the methanotrophic community to temperature fluctuations, an important consideration for future studies. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.