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Microbial processes in iron-rich sediments of Lake Towuti, Indonesia: Disentangling the methane and iron cycles

English title Microbial processes in iron-rich sediments of Lake Towuti, Indonesia: Disentangling the methane and iron cycles
Applicant Vuillemin Aurèle
Number 148621
Funding scheme Early Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Start/End 01.10.2013 - 31.03.2015
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All Disciplines (6)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Genetics
Experimental Microbiology
Environmental Research
Geochemistry
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology

Keywords (7)

methane cycle; Archaean analogues; extracellular DNA; diagenesis; anaerobic oxidation of methane; iron cycle; Lake Towuti

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les interactions microbiennes associées aux cycles du methane et du fer dominent les processus de reminéralisation organique du lac Towuti, Indonésie. Ses sédiments riches en fer fournissent une large variété de substrats métalliques aux microbes. Les conditions particulières d’anoxie du lac Towuti reflètent celles des océans Archéens au moment de leur oxygénation et permettent l’étude de la diagenèse microbienne dans des sédiments similaires à ceux déposés au fond des océans à cette période.
Lay summary

Les processus microbiens dans les sédiments ferrugineux du lac Towuti, Indonésie: dénouer les cycles du methane et du fer


Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

Les bactéries méthanogènes, méthanotrophes et ferro-réductrices furent probablement les principales formes de vie dans les océans et sédiments de l’Archéen. L’objectif principal de ce projet est d’aborder le couplage des cycles du méthane et du fer dans les processus d’oxydation anaérobique du méthane, ainsi que la présence éventuelle d’un cycle cryptique du soufre dans les sédiments du lac Towuti.

Nous visons (1) l’identification des espèces méthanogènes et méthanotrophes impliquées dans la production et la consommation de méthane, (2) l’évaluation de la préservation de l’ADN dans des conditions riches en fer, (3) la formation de minéraux authigènes au cours de la diagenèse microbienne. Pour ce faire, nous procéderons à une série d’analyses sur carottes sédimentaires incluant la génétique microbienne de l’ADN intra- et extracellulaire, la chimie des eaux interstitielles, et la distinction des différentes formes chimiques du fer, du manganèse et du soufre.

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

Les gisements de fer rubané qui résultèrent de l’oxygénation des océans au cours de l’Archéen représentent 90 % du minerai de fer exploité dans le monde. Ce projet contribuera également à l’étude pilote qui doit fournir les informations essentielles aux investigations microbiologiques de la campagne de forage ICDP, prévue au printemps 2015.

Mots-clés : cycle du fer ; cycle du méthane ; oxydation anaérobique du méthane ; diagénèse ; analogues archéens.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 23.05.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Preservation and significance of extracellular DNA in ferruginous sediments from Lake Towuti, Indonesia.
Vuillemin Aurèle, Horn Fabian, Alawi Mashal, Henny Cynthia, Wagner Dirk, Crowe Sean, Kallmeyer Jens (2017), Preservation and significance of extracellular DNA in ferruginous sediments from Lake Towuti, Indonesia., in Frontiers in Microbiology, 8(1440), 1-15.
Geomicrobiological features of ferruginous sediments from Lake Towuti, Indonesia
Vuillemin Aurèle, Friese André, Alawi Mashal, Henny Cynthia, Nomosatryo Sulung, Wagner Dirk, Crowe Sean Andrew, Kallmeyer Jens (2016), Geomicrobiological features of ferruginous sediments from Lake Towuti, Indonesia, in Frontiers in Microbiology, 7(1007), 1007.
Metabolic potential of microbial communities from ferruginous sediments
Vuillemin Aurèle, Horn Fabian, Friese André, Winkel Matthias, Alawi Mashal, Wagner Dirk, Henny Cynthia, Orsi William D, Crowe Sean A, Kallmeyer Jens, Metabolic potential of microbial communities from ferruginous sediments, in Environmental Microbiology.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of British Columbia Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 4.5 Geomicrobiology Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Research Center for Limnology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Indonesia (Asia)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Gemeinsames Kolloquium der DFG-Schwerpunktprogramme Poster Microbial populations in iron-rich sediments of Lake Towuti at varying bottom water oxygenation levels - Results of a pilot study for the 2015 ICDP drilling campaign. 02.03.2015 Bonn, Germany Vuillemin Aurèle;
Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiologie (VAAM) Talk given at a conference Microbial populations in iron-rich sediments of Lake Towuti at varying oxygenation levels in bottom waters. (Abstract volume EMP23 155) 01.03.2015 Marburg, Germany Vuillemin Aurèle;
3rd International Conference of Geobiology Talk given at a conference Inferring microbial processes in iron-rich sediments of Lake Towuti (Indonesia) from pore water biogeochemistry and intra/extracellular DNA – Perspectives for the ICDP deep drilling campaign 2015 (Abstract volume 187-188) 16.06.2014 Wuhan, China Vuillemin Aurèle;
IODP/ICDP Kolloquium Poster Inspecting the biogeochemistry of Lake Towuti surficial sediment: Implications for microbial communities (Abstract volume 51) 17.03.2014 Erlangen, Germany Vuillemin Aurèle;


Abstract

Mutual interactions between microbes involved in methane and iron cycling appear to play an important role in nutrient recycling and remineralization processes within the deep stratified waters and sediments of Lake Towuti, Indonesia. This lake is a tropical 200-m deep tectonic basin seated in ultramafic (ophiolitic) rocks and surrounded by areas with lateritic soils. As a result, its sediments are very rich in iron and other metals, providing microbial communities with a wide range of metalliferous substrates, which play a key role in biogeochemical cycles. We hypothesize that in Lake Towuti anaerobic oxidation of methane is coupled to iron reduction. Due to these special settings, the lake is ideal to study early diagenesis in iron-rich sediments such as those likely deposited under ocean conditions that generated banded iron formations (BIFs). Within the framework of this project, I would like to investigate the different microbial populations present in the sediments, their role as methane producers and consumers as well as the mechanisms coupling these processes to the iron cycle. For this purpose, I will work on samples from short cores that will be retrieved from Lake Towuti by the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) research team and its associates from the University of British Columbia at Vancouver, Canada, this and next summer. The samples will be retrieved as part of a pilot study for a deep drilling campaign by the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) planned for 2015. To achieve the goals mentioned above, I plan to carry out specific geochemical and microbiological analyses, including phylogenetic studies of microbial communities related to methane production and consumption along with measurements of the pore water chemistry and related isotopes. Well-established analytical strategies and laboratory facilities of the GFZ in combination with Mn and Fe speciation work in Vancouver will shed light into the processes coupling methane oxidation and iron reduction.
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