Nice work, Cory et al!
“NC10 bacteria in marine oxygen minimum zones” (In press at The ISME Journal)
Bacteria of the NC10 phylum link anaerobic methane oxidation to nitrite denitrification through a unique O2-producing intra-aerobic methanotrophy pathway. A niche for NC10 in the pelagic ocean has not been confirmed. We show that NC10 bacteria are present and transcriptionally active in oceanic oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) off northern Mexico and Costa Rica. NC10 16S rRNA genes were detected at all sites, peaking in abundance in an anoxic zone of elevated nitrite and methane concentrations. Phylogenetic analysis of particulate methane monooxygenase genes further confirmed the presence of NC10. rRNA and mRNA transcripts assignable to NC10 peaked within the OMZ and included genes of the putative nitrite-dependent intra-aerobic pathway, with high representation by transcripts containing the unique motif structure of the nitric oxide (NO) reductase of NC10 bacteria, hypothesized to participate in O2-producing NO dismutation. These findings confirm pelagic OMZs as a niche for NC10, suggesting a role for this group in OMZ nitrogen, methane, and oxygen cycling.