Welander Paula V.

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name
Paula V.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
  • Preprint
    Fractionation of the methane isotopologues 13CH4, 12CH3D, and 13CH3D during aerobic oxidation of methane by Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath)
    ( 2016-07) Wang, David T. ; Welander, Paula V. ; Ono, Shuhei
    Aerobic oxidation of methane plays a major role in reducing the amount of methane emitted to the atmosphere from freshwater and marine settings. We cultured an aerobic methanotroph, Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) at 30 and 37 °C, and determined the relative abundance of 12CH4, 13CH4, 12CH3D, and 13CH3D (a doubly-substituted, or “clumped” isotopologue of methane) to characterize the clumped isotopologue effect associated with aerobic methane oxidation. In batch culture, the residual methane became enriched in 13C and D relative to starting methane, with D/H fractionation a factor of 9.14 (Dε/13ε) larger than that of 13C/12C. As oxidation progressed, the Δ13CH3D value (a measure of the excess in abundance of 13CH3D relative to a random distribution of isotopes among isotopologues) of residual methane decreased. The isotopologue fractionation factor for 13CH3D/12CH4 was found to closely approximate the product of the measured fractionation factors for 13CH4/12CH4 and 12CH3D/12CH4 (i.e., 13C/12C and D/H). The results give insight into enzymatic reversibility in the aerobic methane oxidation pathway. Based on the experimental data, a mathematical model was developed to predict isotopologue signatures expected for methane in the environment that has been partially-oxidized by aerobic methanotrophy. Measurement of methane clumped isotopologue abundances can be used to distinguish between aerobic methane oxidation and alternative methane-cycling processes.