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Discrimination of methane-consuming bacteria in the forest-to-pasture land-use change in the Amazon region

Grant number: 20/11765-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2020
Effective date (End): October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Acordo de Cooperação: NSF - Dimensions of Biodiversity and BIOTA
Principal Investigator:Tsai Siu Mui
Grantee:Mariana Tavares da Silva
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/50320-4 - Dimensions US-BIOTA - São Paulo: collaborative research: integrating dimensions of microbial biodiversity across land use change in tropical forests, AP.BTA.TEM


Methane is one of the main greenhouse gases, and its cycle is dependent on the action of microorganisms in several of its stages, which are the only natural sources and drains in relation to soils. Methanogenic archaea typically produce this gas, while methanotrophic bacteria consume it, using it as an energy source. Thus, understanding how methane fluxes and methanotrophic bacteria respond to land-use change in the Amazon will provide relevant information on predicting the impacts of human activity on climate change. This research aims to evaluate how the change in land-use alters the occurrence and activity of high- and low-affinity methanotrophic bacteria, which is essential for understanding the dynamics of draining methane from the atmosphere. To this end, microcosms with an atmosphere enriched with methane will be implemented from forest and pasture soil samples collected in Santarém (PA) to assess their effects on the total bacterial and methanotrophic communities, identifying those that act in high and low concentrations of methane. Then, the total DNA of the soils will be extracted, and the soil samples will be used for the isolation of methanotrophic bacteria. Genetic analysis will be carried out through quantitative PCR (qPCR) of the genes 16S rRNA (bacteria), pmoA, pmoA2, and mmoX (high- and low-affinity methanotrophs).

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