2021, Microorganisms, 9(7), 1360.

Quéméneur, M., Mei, N., Monnin, C., Postec, A., Wils, L., Bartoli, M., Guasco, S., Pelletier, B., Erauso, G.

Abstract

Background: The geothermal spring of La Crouen (New Caledonia) discharges warm (42 °C) alkaline water (pH~9) enriched in dissolved nitrogen with traces of methane, but its microbial diversity has not yet been studied. (2) Methods: Cultivation-dependent and -independent methods (e.g., Illumina sequencing and quantitative PCR based on 16S rRNA gene) were used to describe the prokaryotic diversity of this spring. (3) Results: Prokaryotes were mainly represented by Proteobacteria (57% on average), followed by Cyanobacteria, Chlorofexi, and Candidatus Gracilibacteria (GN02/BD1-5) (each > 5%). Both potential aerobes and anaerobes, as well as mesophilic and thermophilic microorganisms, were identified. Some of them had previously been detected in continental hyperalkaline springs found in serpentinizing environments (The Cedars, Samail, Voltri, and Zambales ophiolites). GammaproteobacteriaCa. Gracilibacteria and Thermotogae were significantly more abundant in spring water than in sediments. Potential chemolithotrophs mainly included beta- and gammaproteobacterial genera of sulfate-reducers (Ca. Desulfobacillus), methylotrophs (Methyloversatilis), sulfur-oxidizers (Thiofaba, Thiovirga), or hydrogen-oxidizers (Hydrogenophaga). Methanogens (Methanobacteriales and Methanosarcinales) were the dominant Archaea, as found in serpentinization-driven and deep subsurface ecosystems. A novel alkaliphilic hydrogenotrophic methanogen (strain CAN) belonging to the genus Methanobacterium was isolated, suggesting that hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis occurs at La Crouen.

Keywords: 

archaeabacteriaMethanobacteriumalkaline springmicrobial diversityalkaliphileshydrogenotrophymethanogenesis

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