Lanthanum anomalies as fingerprints of methanotrophy

Type Article
Date 2020-07
Language English
Author(s) Wang X.1, 4, Barrat Jean-Alix2, 3, Bayon Germain4, Chauvaud Laurent3, Feng D.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Hadal Science and Technology, College of Marine Sciences, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China
2 : Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, CNRS, UMR 6538 (Laboratoire Géosciences Océan), Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (IUEM), Place Nicolas Copernic, 29280 Plouzané, France
3 : Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, CNRS, UMR 6539 (Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environnement Marin), LIA BeBEST, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (IUEM), Place Nicolas Copernic, 29280 Plouzané, France
4 : IFREMER, Marine Geosciences Unit, F-29280 Plouzané, France
Source Geochemical Perspectives Letters (2410-339X) (European Association of Geochemistry), 2020-07 , Vol. 14 , P. 26-30
DOI 10.7185/geochemlet.2019
WOS© Times Cited 5
Abstract

Methane is an important greenhouse gas whose emissions into the oceans and atmosphere are regulated by relatively unconstrained anaerobic and aerobic microbial processes. The aerobic pathway for methane oxidation is thought to be largely dependent upon the use of rare earth elements (REE), but to date the effects of this process on their abundances in bacteria or in organisms living in symbiosis with methanotrophs remain to be evaluated. Here we show that deep sea chemosynthetic mussels prospering at methane seeps display distinctive lanthanum enrichments linked to the enzymatic activities of their symbionts. These results demonstrate that methanotrophy is able to fractionate efficiently REE distributions in organisms and possibly in the environment. Lanthanum anomalies recorded in ancient sediments are potential chemical fossils that could be used in the geological record for tracking early evidence of microbial life.

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