16S rRNA gene sequences of Candidatus Methylumidiphilus (Methylococcales), a putative methanotrophic genus in lakes and ponds

Rissanen et al. (2021).
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AbstractA putative novel methanotrophic genus, Candidatus Methylumidiphilus (Methylococcales), was recently shown to be ubiquitous and one of the most abundant methanotrophic genera in water columns of oxygen-stratified lakes and ponds of boreal and subarctic area. However, it has probably escaped detection in many previous studies using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing due to insufficient database coverage, which is because Ca. Methylumidiphilus lacks cultured representatives and previously analysed metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) affiliated with it do not contain 16S rRNA genes. Therefore, we screened MAGs affiliated with the genus for their 16S rRNA gene sequences in a recently published lake and pond MAG dataset. Among 66 MAGs classified as Ca. Methylumidiphilus (with completeness over 40% and contamination less than 5%) originating from lakes in Finland, Sweden and Switzerland as well as from ponds in Canada, we could find 5 MAGs each containing one 1532 bp long sequence spanning the V1-V9 regions of the 16S rRNA gene. After removal of sequence redundancy, this resulted in two unique 16S rRNA gene sequences. These sequences represented two different putative species, i.e. Ca. Methylumidiphilus alinenensis (Genbank accession: OK236221) as well as another so far unnamed species of Ca. Methylumidiphilus (Genbank accession: OK236220). We suggest that including these two sequences in reference databases will enhance 16S rRNA gene - based detection of members of this genus from environmental samples.
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