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Choline and N,N-Dimethylethanolamine as direct substrates for methanogens

Watkins, Andrew J., Roussel, Erwan Georges Philippe, Webster, Gordon ORCID:, Parkes, Ronald John and Sass, Henrik ORCID: 2012. Choline and N,N-Dimethylethanolamine as direct substrates for methanogens. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78 (23) , pp. 8298-8303. 10.1128/AEM.01941-12

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Choline (N,N,N-trimethylethanolamine), which is widely distributed in membrane lipids and is a component of sediment biota, has been shown to be utilized anaerobically by mixed prokaryotes cultures to produce methane, but not by pure cultures of methanogens. Here we show that five recently isolated Methanococcoides strains from a range of sediments (Aarhus Bay, Denmark; Severn Estuary mudflats at Portishead, UK; Darwin Mud Volcano, Gulf of Cadiz; Napoli mud volcano, Eastern Mediterranean) can directly utilise choline for methanogenesis producing ethanolamine, which is not further metabolised. Di- and monomethylethanolamine are metabolic intermediates that temporarily accumulate. Consistent with this dimethylethanolamine was shown to be another new growth substrate, but monomethylethanolamine was not. The specific methanogen inhibitor 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) inhibited methane production from choline. When choline and trimethylamine are provided together diauxic growth occurs, with trimethylamine being utilized first and then after a lag (∼7 days) choline is metabolised. Three type strains of Methanococcoides (M. methylutens, M. burtonii and M. alaskense), in contrast, did not utilize choline. However, two of them (M. methylutens and M. burtonii) did metabolise dimethylethanolamine. These results extend the known substrates that can be directly utilized by some methanogens, giving them the advantage that they would not be reliant on bacterial syntrophs for their substrate supply.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
ISSN: 0099-2240
Funders: NERC, EU FP7
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 11:06

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