Isolation of isoprene degrading bacteria from soils, development of isoA gene probes and identification of the active isoprene degrading soil community using DNA-stable isotope probing

Myriam El Khawand, Andrew T. Crombie, Antonia Johnston, Dmitrii V. Vavlline, Joseph C. McAuliffe, Jacob A. Latone, Yuliya A. Primak, Sang-Kyu Lee, Gregg M. Whited, Terry J. McGenity, J. Colin Murrell

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Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (bVOCs), are an important element in the global carbon cycle, accounting for a significant proportion of fixed carbon. They contribute directly and indirectly to global warming and climate change and have a major effect on atmospheric chemistry. Plants emit isoprene to the atmosphere in similar quantities to emissions of methane from all sources and each account for approximately one third of total VOCs. Although methanotrophs, capable of growth on methane, have been intensively studied, we know little of isoprene biodegradation. Here we report the isolation of two isoprene-degrading strains from the terrestrial environment and describe the design and testing of PCR primers targeting isoA, the gene encoding the active-site component of the conserved isoprene monooxygenase, which are capable of retrieving isoA sequences from isoprene-enriched environmental samples. Stable isotope probing experiments, using biosynthesized 13C-labelled isoprene, identified the active isoprene-degrading bacteria in soil. This study identifies novel isoprene-degrading strains using both culture-dependent and, for the first time, culture-independent methods and provides the tools and foundations for continued investigation of the biogeography and molecular ecology of isoprene-degrading bacteria. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2743–2753
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue numberThematic Issue on Microbial Mutualism and Symbiosis
Early online date30 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

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