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The possible occurrence of iron-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation in an Archean Ocean analogue
Roland, F.A.E.; Borges, A.V.; Darchambeau, F.; Llirós, M.; Descy, J.-P.; Morana, C. (2021). The possible occurrence of iron-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation in an Archean Ocean analogue. NPG Scientific Reports 11(1): 1597.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Roland, F.A.E., more
  • Borges, A.V., more
  • Darchambeau, F., more
  • Llirós, M.
  • Descy, J.-P., more
  • Morana, C., more

    In the ferruginous and anoxic early Earth oceans, photoferrotrophy drove most of the biological production before the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis, but its association with ferric iron (Fe3+) dependent anaerobic methane (CH4) oxidation (AOM) has been poorly investigated. We studied AOM in Kabuno Bay, a modern analogue to the Archean Ocean (anoxic bottom waters and dissolved Fe concentrations > 600 µmol L−1). Aerobic and anaerobic CH4 oxidation rates up to 0.12 ± 0.03 and 51 ± 1 µmol L−1 d−1, respectively, were put in evidence. In the Fe oxidation–reduction zone, we observed high concentration of Bacteriochlorophyll e (biomarker of the anoxygenic photoautotrophs), which co-occurred with the maximum CH4 oxidation peaks, and a high abundance of Candidatus Methanoperedens, which can couple AOM to Fe3+ reduction. In addition, comparison of measured CH4 oxidation rates with electron acceptor fluxes suggest that AOM could mainly rely on Fe3+ produced by photoferrotrophs. Further experiments specifically targeted to investigate the interactions between photoferrotrophs and AOM would be of considerable interest. Indeed, ferric Fe3+-driven AOM has been poorly envisaged as a possible metabolic process in the Archean ocean, but this can potentially change the conceptualization and modelling of metabolic and geochemical processes controlling climate conditions in the Early Earth.

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