6708 PB Wageningen
Dr. Paul Bodelier
Paul Bodelier is a senior scientist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in Wageningen, the Netherlands since 2008. He obtained his PhD at the University of Nijmegen in 1997 focusing on nitrogen cycling in the rhizosphere of wetland plants. From 1997-1999 the scope of his work was expanded to methane cycling in rice paddies during a post-doc stay at the Max-Planck Institute for terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany, working together with the inspiring mentor Prof. Peter Frenzel. The MPI period was followed by a post-doc position at the Centre for Limnology of the Netherlands Institute of ecology in Nieuwersluis, the Netherlands which was continued in 2008 by tenured position at the same Institute.
The research in that period as well as the current research topics are reflected in his broad interest and perspective on ecology and interactions between microbes and their biotic and abiotic environment. His work has always spanned multiple levels of biological organization. The central topic of his current research line is the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients in wetlands and soils, mainly related to methane production and consumption. This area of research has proven particularly well-suited to link even combined multi-level effects to global element cycles, as the factors ultimately controlling atmospheric methane emissions include both physical (e.g. flooding, fertilizer use, temperature) and biotic factors (community composition, protozoa, macrofauna, plants, animals). For these studies he used microbiological, biogeochemical, molecular biological, analytical chemical as well as isotopic approaches spanning the organization levels form gene to ecosystems. In addition, he actively seeks cooperation with researchers in order to make use of the current rapid development of new techniques to unravel the ecology of microbes in natural systems (e.g. massive parallel sequencing and protein stable isotope labeling).
Besides following his personal research interests he serves the scientific community by editorial activities (specialty chief editor at Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology; Section editor at Plant and Soil, editorial board member at ISME Journal and Applied and Environmental Microbiology; ad hoc reviewer for more than 20 journals; grant reviewing activities NSF, NERC, NWO, ERC, Czech science foundation, Danish research Council etc.).
Next to these activities he also has a strong interest in the wellbeing of his colleagues, whose interest he represents by being the chairman of the personnel representative committee of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and member of the employee’s council of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The increase in sequencing capacity has amplified the number of taxonomically unclassified sequences in most databases. The classification of such sequences demands phylogenetic tree construction and comparison to currently classified sequences, a process that demands the processing of large amounts of data and use of several different software. Here, we present PhyloFunDB, a pipeline for extracting, processing, and inferring phylogenetic trees from specific functional genes. The goal of our work is to decrease processing time and facilitate the grouping of sequences that can be used for improved taxonomic classification of functional gene datasets.
Ammonia oxidation is the rate-limiting first step of nitrification and a key process in the nitrogen cycle that results in the formation of nitrite (NO2–), which can be further oxidized to nitrate (NO3–). In the Amazonian floodplains, soils are subjected to extended seasons of flooding during the rainy season, in which they can become anoxic and produce a significant amount of methane (CH4). Various microorganisms in this anoxic environment can couple the reduction of different ions, such as NO2– and NO3–, with the oxidation of CH4 for energy production and effectively link the carbon and nitrogen cycle. Here, we addressed the composition of ammonium (NH4+) and NO3–—and NO2–—dependent CH4-oxidizing microbial communities in an Amazonian floodplain. In addition, we analyzed the influence of environmental and geochemical factors on these microbial communities. Soil samples were collected from different layers of forest and agroforest land-use systems during the flood and non-flood seasons in the floodplain of the Tocantins River, and next-generation sequencing of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA amplicons was performed, coupled with chemical characterization of the soils. We found that ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) were more abundant than ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) during both flood and non-flood seasons. Nitrogen-dependent anaerobic methane oxidizers (N-DAMO) from both the archaeal and bacterial domains were also found in both seasons, with higher abundance in the flood season. The different seasons, land uses, and depths analyzed had a significant influence on the soil chemical factors and also affected the abundance and composition of AOA, AOB, and N-DAMO. During the flood season, there was a significant correlation between ammonia oxidizers and N-DAMO, indicating the possible role of these oxidizers in providing oxidized nitrogen species for methanotrophy under anaerobic conditions, which is essential for nitrogen removal in these soils.
Although floodplains are recognized as important sources of methane (CH4) in the Amazon basin, little is known about the role of methanotrophs in mitigating CH4 emissions in these ecosystems. Our previous data reported the genus Methylocystis as one of the most abundant methanotrophs in these floodplain sediments. However, information on the functional potential and life strategies of these organisms living under seasonal flooding is still missing. Here, we described the first metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) of a Methylocystis sp. recovered from Amazonian floodplains sediments, and we explored its functional potential and ecological traits through phylogenomic, functional annotation, and pan-genomic approaches. Both phylogenomics and pan-genomics identified the closest placement of the bin.170_fp as Methylocystis parvus. As expected for Type II methanotrophs, the Core cluster from the pan-genome comprised genes for CH4 oxidation and formaldehyde assimilation through the serine pathway. Furthermore, the complete set of genes related to nitrogen fixation is also present in the Core. Interestingly, the MAG singleton cluster revealed the presence of unique genes related to nitrogen metabolism and cell motility. The study sheds light on the genomic characteristics of a dominant, but as yet unexplored methanotroph from the Amazonian floodplains. By exploring the genomic potential related to resource utilization and motility capability, we expanded our knowledge on the niche breadth of these dominant methanotrophs in the Amazonian floodplains.
We present two strains affiliated with the GKS98 cluster. This phylogenetically defined cluster is representing abundant, mainly uncultured freshwater bacteria, which were observed by many cultivation-independent studies on the diversity of bacteria in various freshwater lakes and streams. Bacteria affiliated with the GKS98 cluster were detected by cultivation-independent methods in freshwater systems located in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The two strains, LF4-65T (=CCUG 56422T=DSM 107630T) and MWH-P2sevCIIIbT (=CCUG 56420T=DSM 107629T), are aerobic chemoorganotrophs, both with genome sizes of 3.2 Mbp and G+C values of 52.4 and 51.0 mol%, respectively. Phylogenomic analyses based on concatenated amino acid sequences of 120 proteins suggest an affiliation of the two strains with the family Alcaligenaceae and revealed Orrella amnicola and Orrella marina (= Algicoccus marinus) as being the closest related, previously described species. However, the calculated phylogenomic trees clearly suggest that the current genus Orrella represents a polyphyletic taxon. Based on the branching order in the phylogenomic trees, as well as the revealed phylogenetic distances and chemotaxonomic traits, we propose to establish the new genus Zwartia gen. nov. and the new species Z. hollandica sp. nov. to harbour strain LF4-65T and the new genus Jezberella gen. nov. and the new species J. montanila-cus sp. nov. to harbour strain MWH-P2sevCIIIbT. Furthermore, we propose the reclassification of the species Orrella amnicola in the new genus Sheuella gen. nov. The new genera Zwartia, Jezberella and Sheuella together represent taxonomically the GKS98 cluster.
Karst caves are recently proposed as atmospheric methane sinks in terrestrial ecosystems. Despite of the detection of atmospheric methane-oxidizing bacteria (atmMOB) in caves, we still know little about their ecology and potential ability of methane oxidation in this ecosystem. To understand atmMOB ecology and their potential in methane consumption, we collected weathered rocks and sediments from three different caves in southwestern China. We determined the potential methane oxidization rates in the range of 1.25 ± 0.08 to 1.87 ± 0.41 ng CH4 g−1 DW h−1, which are comparable to those reported in forest and grassland soils. Results showed that alkaline oligotrophic caves harbour high numbers of atmMOB, particularly upland soil cluster (USC), which significantly correlated with temperature, CH4 and CO2 concentrations. The absolute abundance of USCγ was higher than that of USCα. USCγ-OPS (open patch soil) and USCγ-SS (subsurface soil) dominated in most samples, whereas USCα-BFS (boreal forest soil) only predominated in the sediments near cave entrances, indicating niche differentiation of atmMOB in caves. Overwhelming dominance of homogenous selection in community assembly resulted in convergence of atmMOB communities. Collectively, our results demonstrated the niche differentiation of USC in subsurface alkaline caves and their non-negligible methane-oxidizing potential, providing brand-new knowledge about atmMOB ecology in subsurface biosphere.
Livestock manures are broadly used in agriculture to improve soil quality. However, manure application can increase the availability of organic carbon, thereby facilitating methane (CH4) production. Cattle and swine manures are expected to have different CH4 emission characteristics in rice paddy soil due to the inherent differences in composition as a result of contrasting diets and digestive physiology between the two livestock types. To compare the effect of ruminant and non-ruminant animal manure applications on CH4 emissions and methanogenic archaeal diversity during rice cultivation (June to September, 2009), fresh cattle and swine manures were applied into experimental pots at 0, 20 and 40 Mg fresh weight (FW) ha−1 in a greenhouse. Applications of manures significantly enhanced total CH4 emissions as compared to chemical fertilization, with cattle manure leading to higher emissions than swine manure. Total organic C contents in cattle (466 g kg−1) and swine (460 g kg−1) manures were of comparable results. Soil organic C (SOC) contents were also similar between the two manure treatments, but dissolved organic C (DOC) was significantly higher in cattle than swine manure. The mcrA gene copy numbers were significantly higher in cattle than swine manure. Diverse groups of methanogens which belong to Methanomicrobiaceae were detected only in cattle-manured but not in swine-manured soil. Methanogens were transferred from cattle manure to rice paddy soils through fresh excrement. In conclusion, cattle manure application can significantly increase CH4 emissions in rice paddy soil during cultivation, and its pretreatment to suppress methanogenic activity without decreasing rice productivity should be considered.