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Anaerobic ammonium-oxidising bacteria: A biological source of the bacteriohopanetetrol stereoisomer in marine sediments
Rush, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Poulton, S.W.; Thamdrup, B.; Leigh Garside, A.; Acuña-Gonzalez, J.; Schouten, S.; Jetten, M.S.M.; Talbot, H.M. (2014). Anaerobic ammonium-oxidising bacteria: A biological source of the bacteriohopanetetrol stereoisomer in marine sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 140: 50-63.
In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Elsevier: Oxford,New York etc.. ISSN 0016-7037; e-ISSN 1872-9533, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Rush, D., more
  • Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., more
  • Poulton, S.W.
  • Thamdrup, B.
  • Leigh Garside, A.
  • Acuña-Gonzalez, J.
  • Schouten, S., more
  • Jetten, M.S.M.
  • Talbot, H.M.

    Bacterially-derived bacteriohopanepolyols (BHPs) are abundant, well preserved lipids in modern and paleo-environments. Bacteriohopanetetrol (BHT) is a ubiquitously produced BHP while its less common stereoisomer (BHT isomer) has previously been associated with anoxic environments; however, its biological source remained unknown. We investigated the occurrence of BHPs in Golfo Dulce, an anoxic marine fjord-like enclosure located in Costa Rica. The distribution of BHT isomer in four sediment cores and a surface sediment transect closely followed the distribution of ladderane fatty acids, unique biomarkers for bacteria performing anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox). This suggests that BHT isomer and ladderane lipids likely shared the same biological source in Golfo Dulce. This was supported by examining the BHP lipid compositions of two enrichment cultures of a marine anammox species (‘Candidatus Scalindua profunda’), which were found to contain both BHT and BHT isomer. Remarkably, the BHT isomer was present in higher relative abundance than BHT. However, a non-marine anammox enrichment contained only BHT, which explains the infrequence of BHT isomer observations in terrestrial settings, and indicates that marine anammox bacteria are likely responsible for at least part of the environmentally-observed marine BHT isomer occurrences. Given the substantially greater residence time of BHPs in sediments, compared to ladderanes, BHT isomer is a potential biomarker for past anammox activity.

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