On the Possibility of Aerobic Methane Production by Pelagic Microbial Communities of the Laptev Sea

O. S. Samylina, I. I. Rusanov, I. Yu Tarnovetskii, E. V. Yakushev, A. A. Grinko, E. E. Zakharova, A. Yu Merkel, T. A. Kanapatskiy, I. P. Semiletov, N. V. Pimenov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract—: The taxonomic diversity and metabolic activity of microbial communities in the Laptev Sea water column above and outside the methane seep field were studied. The concentrations of dissolved methane in the water column at both stations were comparable until the depth of the pycnocline (25 m). At this depth, local methane maxima were recorded, with the highest concentration (116 nM CH4) found at the station outside the methane seep field. Results of the 16S rRNA gene sequencing and measurements of the rates of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis indicated the absence of methanogenesis caused by the methanogenic archaea in the pycnocline and in other horizons of the water column. The 16S rRNA-based analysis of microbial phylogenetic diversity, as well as radiotracer analysis of the rates of primary production (PP), dark CO2 assimilation (DCA), and methane oxidation (MO), indicated the functioning of a diverse community of pelagic microorganisms capable of transforming a wide range of organic compounds under oligotrophic conditions of the Arctic basin. Hydrochemical prerequisites and possible microbial agents of aerobic methane production via demethylation of methylphosphonate and decomposition of dimethylsulfoniopropionate using dissolved organic matter synthesized in the PP, DCA, and MO processes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalMicrobiology (Russian Federation)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • aerobic methane production
  • Laptev Sea
  • methane paradox
  • methane seep
  • pelagic zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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