Analysis ofin situmanganese(II) oxidation in the Columbia River and offshore plume: linkingAurantimonasand the associated microbial community to an active biogeochemical cycle

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SummaryThe Columbia River is a major source of dissolved nutrients and trace metals for the west coast of North America. A large proportion of these nutrients are sourced from the Columbia River Estuary, where coastal and terrestrial waters mix and resuspend particulate matter within the water column. As estuarine water is discharged off the coast, it transports the particulate matter, dissolved nutrients and microorganisms forming nutrient-rich and metabolically dynamic plumes. In this study, bacterial manganese oxidation within the plume and estuary was investigated during spring and neap tides. The microbial community proteome was fractionated and assayed for Mn oxidation activity. Proteins from the outer membrane and the loosely bound outer membrane fractions were separated using size exclusion chromatography and Mn(II)-oxidizing eluates were analysed with tandem mass spectrometry to identify potential Mn oxidase protein targets. Multi-copper oxidase (MCO) and haem-peroxidase enzymes were identified in active fractions. T-RFLP profiles and cluster analysis indicates that organisms and bacterial communities capable of oxidizing Mn(II) can be sourced from the Columbia River estuary and nearshore coastal ocean. These organisms are producing up to 10 fM MnO2 cell−1 day−1. Evidence for the presence of Mn(II)-oxidizing bacterial isolates from the genera Aurantimonas, Rhodobacter, Bacillus and Shewanella was found in T-RFLP profiles. Specific Q-PCR probes were designed to target potential homologues of the Aurantimonas manganese oxidizing peroxidase (Mop). By comparing total Mop homologues, Aurantimonas SSU rRNA and total bacterial SSU rRNA gene copies, it appears that Aurantimonas can only account for ˜1.7% of the peroxidase genes quantified. Under the broad assumption that at least some of the peroxidase homologues quantified are involved in manganese oxidation, it is possible that other organisms oxidize manganese via peroxidases.

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