2012 Volume 27 Issue 3 Pages 278-287
The diversity of cultivable methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) in the rice paddy field ecosystem was investigated by combined culture-dependent and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques. Seven microsites of a Japanese rice paddy field were the focus of the study: floodwater, surface soil, bulk soil, rhizosphere soil, root, basal stem of rice plant, and rice stumps of previous harvest. Based on pmoA gene analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), four type I, and nine type II MOB isolates were obtained from the highest dilution series of enrichment cultures. The type I MOB isolates included a novel species in the genus Methylomonas from floodwater and this is the first type I MOB strain isolated from floodwater of a rice paddy field. In the type I MOB, two isolates from stumps were closely related to Methylomonas spp.; one isolate obtained from rhizosphere soil was most related to Methyloccocus-Methylocaldum-Methylogaea clade. Almost all the type II MOB isolates were related to Methylocystis methanotrophs. FISH confirmed the presence of both types I and II MOB in all the microsites and in the related enrichment cultures. The study reported, for the first time, the diversity of cultivable methanotrophs including a novel species of type I MOB in rice paddy field compartments. Refining growth media and culture conditions, in combination with molecular approaches, will allow us to broaden our knowledge on the MOB community in the rice paddy field ecosystem and consequently to implement strategies for mitigating CH4 emission from this ecosystem.