Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 19, Issue 1, 2017; Page No.(11-15)

INVESTIGATING METHANOTROPHIC COMMUNITIES IN AL-HOFUF CITY SAUDI ARABIA USING A CULTURALINDEPENDENT METHOD

ASHRAF KHALIFA

Abstract

The current study aimed at investigating the methanotrophic communities in two Saudi soils using cultural-independent method. Methanotrophic bacteria have a unique ability to utilize methane as their carbon and energy sources. Therefore, methanotrophs play a key role in suppressing methane emissions from different ecosystems and hence in alleviating the global climate change. Despite methanotrophs have many ecological, economical and biotechnological applications, little is known about ecology of this group of bacteria in Saudi soils. Therefore, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique was applied the environmental DNA extracted from soil samples collected from two sites, Al- Taraf and Al-Bohyria, in Al-Ahsaa region. The DGGE patterns of samples based on the unique functional gene of methanotrophs, pmoA gene. The number of identified DGGE bands in the Al-Taraf and Al- Bohyriyasoil samples were 18 and 19, respectively. Nonetheless, some DGGE bands were unique for each soil locality. These findings highlight the diversity in methanotrophic community based on the soil collection site due to soil and environmental factors. DGGE is a powerful fingerprinting technique in studying communities of methanotrophs from different habitats. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that Methylogaea spp. are predominant in these soils. The in-depth understanding of methanotrophic communities in the prevailing climatic and environmental conditions in Saudihas a significant impact on the global methane budget in Saudi ecosystems.

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