In Situ Stable Isotope Probing of Methanogenic Archaea in the Rice Rhizosphere

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Science  12 Aug 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5737, pp. 1088-1090
DOI: 10.1126/science.1113435

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Microorganisms living in anoxic rice soils contribute 10 to 25% of global methane emissions. The most important carbon source for CH4 production is plant-derived carbon that enters soil as root exudates and debris. Pulse labeling of rice plants with 13CO2 resulted in incorporation of 13C into the ribosomal RNA of Rice Cluster I Archaea in the soil, indicating that this archaeal group plays a key role in CH4 production from plant-derived carbon. This group of microorganisms has not yet been isolated but appears to be of global environmental importance.

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