Gunter Wegener

Gunter Wegener
MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences

Postdoctoral Scientist

About

110
Publications
23,613
Reads
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3,234
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - September 2021
University Bremen
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Description
  • Biogeosciences Master class Environmental Geochemistry, Bachelor Class
January 2008 - December 2012
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
January 2008 - present
Education
March 2004 - May 2008
March 2000 - March 2004
Universität Bremen
Field of study
  • Geology
October 1997 - March 2000
Philipps University of Marburg
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (110)
Article
Full-text available
In seafloor sediments, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) consumes most of the methane formed in anoxic layers, preventing this greenhouse gas from reaching the water column and finally the atmosphere. AOM is performed by syntrophic consortia of specific anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Cultures...
Article
Alkanes are saturated apolar hydrocarbons that range from its simplest form, methane, to high-molecular-weight compounds. Although alkanes were once considered biologically recalcitrant under anaerobic conditions, microbiological investigations have now identified several microbial taxa that can anaerobically degrade alkanes. Here we review recent...
Article
Full-text available
Consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria mediate the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments. However, even sediment-free cultures contain a substantial number of additional microorganisms not directly related to AOM. To track the heterotrophic activity of these community members and their...
Preprint
Members of the genus Sulfurimonas (phylum Campylobacterota) dominate microbial communities of benthic and pelagic redox clines, playing a key role in the biogeochemistry of these environments. Investigating neutrally buoyant hydrothermal plumes of the Central Arctic Ocean, we found a novel type of Sulfurimonas that inhabits hydrogen-rich and oxygen...
Article
Full-text available
The methanogenic degradation of oil hydrocarbons can proceed through syntrophic partnerships of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria and methanogenic archaea1,2,3. However, recent culture-independent studies have suggested that the archaeon ‘Candidatus Methanoliparum’ alone can combine the degradation of long-chain alkanes with methanogenesis4,5. Here we...
Article
Full-text available
Elemental carbon exists in different structural forms including graphite, diamond, fullerenes, and amorphous carbon. In nature, these materials are produced through abiotic chemical processes under high temperature and pressure but are considered generally inaccessible to biochemical synthesis or breakdown. Here, we identified and characterized ele...
Article
Full-text available
The anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction is a microbially mediated process requiring a syntrophic partnership between anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB). Based on genome taxonomy, ANME lineages are polyphyletic within the phylum Halobacterota, none of which have been isolated in pure c...
Preprint
Full-text available
The anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction is a microbially mediated process requiring a syntrophic partnership between anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB). Based on genome taxonomy, ANME lineages are polyphyletic within the phylum Halobacterota, none of which have been isolated in pure c...
Article
Full-text available
The flanking regions of Guaymas Basin, a young marginal rift basin located in the Gulf of California, are covered with thick sediment layers that are hydrothermally altered due to magmatic intrusions. To explore environmental controls on microbial community structure in this complex environment, we analyzed site- and depth-related patterns of micro...
Article
Full-text available
The surficial hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin harbor complex microbial communities where oxidative and reductive nitrogen, sulfur, and carbon-cycling populations and processes overlap and coexist. Here, we resolve microbial community profiles in hydrothermal sediment cores of Guaymas Basin on a scale of 2 millimeters, using Denaturing Gradi...
Article
How to feed an enzyme ethane When released from ocean floor seeps, small hydrocarbons are rapidly consumed by micro-organisms. Methane is highly abundant and is both produced and consumed by microbes through well understood biochemical pathways. Less well understood is how ethane, also a major natural component of gaseous hydrocarbons, is metaboliz...
Article
Full-text available
Methanogens are considered as one of the earliest life forms on Earth, and together with anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea, they have crucial effects on climate stability. However, the origin and evolution of anaerobic alkane metabolism in the domain Archaea remain controversial. Here, we present evidence that methylotrophic methanogenesis was th...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal sands are biocatalytic filters for dissolved and particulate organic matter of marine and terrestrial origin, thus, acting as centers of organic matter transformation. At high temporal resolution, we accessed the variability of benthic bacterial communities over two annual cycles at Helgoland (North Sea), and compared it with seasonality of...
Article
Full-text available
The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is performed by methanotrophic archaea (ANME) in distinct sulfate-methane interfaces of marine sediments. In these interfaces, AOM often appears to deplete methane in the heavy isotopes toward isotopic compositions similar to methanogenesis. Here, we shed light on this effect and its physiological underpinni...
Article
Full-text available
Methanogens are considered as one of the earliest life forms on Earth, and together with anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea, they have crucial effects on climate stability. Yet, the origin and evolution of anaerobic alkane metabolism in the domain Archaea remain controversial. Here, we show that methanogenesis was already present in the common anc...
Article
Full-text available
Cold seeps and hydrothermal vents are seafloor habitats fueled by subsurface energy sources. Both habitat types coexist in Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California, providing an opportunity to compare microbial communities with distinct physiologies adapted to different thermal regimes. Hydrothermally active sites in the southern Guaymas Basin axial...
Article
Methane is abundant in marine subsurface sediments, sourced from microbial or thermocatalytic production. The relative composition of its isotopologues (12 CH 4 , 13 CH 4 , 12 CH 3 D and 13 CH 3 D) is used to infer its sources and sinks. The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is an important methane sink reaction carried out by consortia of anaer...
Preprint
Methane is abundant in marine subsurface sediments, sourced from microbial or thermocatalytic products. The relative composition of its isotopologues (12CH4, 13CH4, 12CH3D and 13CH3D) is used to infer its sources and sinks. The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is an important methane sink reaction carried out by consortia of anaerobic methanotr...
Article
Full-text available
Dual stable isotope probing has been used to infer rates of microbial biomass production and modes of carbon fixation. In order to validate this approach for assessing archaeal production, the methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina barkeri was grown either with H2, acetate or methanol with D2O and 13C‐dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Our results rev...
Article
Methyl‐coenzyme M reductase (MCR) has been originally identified to catalyze the final step of the methanogenesis pathway. About 20 years ago anaerobic methane‐oxidizing archaea (ANME) were discovered that use MCR enzymes to activate methane. ANME thrive at the thermodynamic limit of life, are slow‐growing, and in most cases form syntrophic consort...
Article
Full-text available
In the seabed, gaseous alkanes are oxidized by syntrophic microbial consortia that thereby reduce fluxes of these compounds into the water column. Because of the immense quantities of seabed alkane fluxes, these consortia are key catalysts of the global carbon cycle. Due to their obligate syntrophic lifestyle, the physiology of alkane-degrading arc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cold seeps and hydrothermal vents deliver large amounts of methane and other gaseous alkanes into marine surface sediments. Consortia of archaea and partner bacteria thrive on the oxidation of these alkanes and its coupling to sulfate reduction. The inherently slow growth of the involved organisms and the lack of pure cultures have impeded the unde...
Chapter
At the Campeche Knolls in the southern Gulf of Mexico large-scale hydrocarbon emissions are associated with numerous salt tectonic structures. A notable feature of this area is the expulsion of highly viscous heavy oils, also referred to as asphalts, which form lava-like flows on the seafloor. These oil and asphalt seeps have been detected via sate...
Article
Full-text available
The flux of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from the seabed is largely controlled by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction (S-AOM) in the sulfate methane transition (SMT). S-AOM is estimated to oxidize 90% of the methane produced in marine sediments and is mediated by a consortium of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (A...
Article
The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) mitigates the flux of methane from marine sediments into the water column. AOM is performed by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) that reverse the methanogenesis pathway and partner bacteria that utilize the released reducing equivalents for sulfate reduction. Here, we investigated small-molecule extrac...
Article
Full-text available
Oil-rich sediments from the Gulf of Mexico were found to contain diverse alkane-degrading groups of archaea. The symbiotic, consortium-forming “ Candidatus Argoarchaeum” and “ Candidatus Syntrophoarchaeum” are likely responsible for the degradation of ethane and short-chain alkanes, with the help of sulfate-reducing bacteria. “ Ca. Methanoliparia”...
Article
Full-text available
Methanogenesis and anaerobic methane oxidation through methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) as a key enzyme have been suggested to be basal pathways of archaea ¹ . How widespread MCR-based alkane metabolism is among archaea, where it occurs and how it evolved remain elusive. Here, we performed a global survey of MCR-encoding genomes based on metagenom...
Article
Full-text available
Seepage of methane (CH4) on land and in the sea may significantly affect Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. However processes of CH4 generation and consumption, both abiotic and microbial, are not always clear. We provide new geochemical and isotope data to evaluate if a recently discovered CH4 seepage from the shallow seafloor close to the Island of E...
Data
Porewater chemistry and isotope compositions (δ13CDIC and δ18OH2O) at gas emission and reference spots 1–3 (locations indicated on map; Fig 1). Samples were taken in 2011. (XLSX)
Data
Additional sulphide and DIC concentrations and δ13CDIC-values of porewater samples taken in 2009 and measured in 2010. (XLSX)
Article
Traditionally, the description of microorganisms starts with their isolation from an environmental sample. Many environmentally relevant anaerobic microorganisms grow very slowly, and often they rely on syntrophic interactions with other microorganisms. This impedes their isolation and characterization by classic microbiological techniques. We deve...
Data
Fig. S1. Phylogenetic affiliation of ANME and partner bacteria clades within Methanomicrobia and Deltaproteobacteria. In the E20 enrichment ANME‐2c forms consortia with Seep‐SRB2, in the G37 enrichment ANME‐1 forms consortia with Seep‐SRB2, and in the G60 enrichment ANME‐1 forms consortia with HotSeep‐1. The phylogenetic trees are modified from Weg...
Data
Table S2. Classification of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic 16S rRNA gene fragments on different phylogenetic levels.
Data
Table S5. Single copy genes identified in ANME draft genomes.
Data
Table S7. Draft genomes and expression data generated in this study.
Data
Table S8. Overview of c‐type cytochromes encoded in the ANME and SRB draft genomes.
Article
Full-text available
The sulfate-dependent, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is an important sink for methane in marine environments. It is carried out between anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) living in syntrophic partnership. In this study, we compared the genomes, gene expression patterns and ultrastructures of three phy...
Article
Full-text available
Subseabed CO2 storage is considered a future climate change mitigation technology. We investigated the ecological consequences of CO2 leakage for a marine benthic ecosystem. For the first time with a multidisciplinary integrated study, we tested hypotheses derived from a meta-analysis of previous experimental and in situ high-CO2 impact studies. Fo...
Conference Paper
In 2014 and 2016, RV Polarstern expeditions examined two hydrothermally active areas on the Arctic Gakkel Ridge that had been located during the AMORE Expedition in 2001. We report on results of ship-based bathymetry as well as deep-tow visual and sonar survey data collected with the new Ocean Floor Observation and Bathymetry System (OFOBS). The Au...
Conference Paper
During the 2016 RV Polarstern expedition exploring the axial volcanic Gakkel Ridge, we employed CTD casts to identify the source and dispersion characteristics of a hydrothermal plume at 87°N, 55°30’E, first identified by the 2001 AMORE expedition. We collected buoyant plume water samples characterized by pronounced Eh and potential temperature ano...
Article
Full-text available
The anaerobic formation and oxidation of methane involve unique enzymatic mechanisms and cofactors that are believed to be all specific for C1-compounds. Here we found that an anaerobic thermophilic enrichment culture composed of dense consortia of archaea and bacteria apparently uses partly similar pathways to oxidize the C4-hydrocarbon butane. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Microorganisms in soils and sediments are highly abundant and phylogenetically diverse, but their specific metabolic activity and function in the environment is often not well constrained. To address this critical aspect in environmental biogeochemistry, different methods involving stable isotope probing (SIP) and detection of the isotope label in...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrocarbon seepage is a widespread process at the continental margins of the Gulf of Mexico. We used a multidisciplinary approach, including multibeam mapping and visual seafloor observations with different underwater vehicles to study the extent and character of complex hydrocarbon seepage in the Bay of Campeche, southern Gulf of Mexico. Our obse...
Article
Full-text available
The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a key biogeochemical process regulating methane emission from marine sediments into the hydrosphere. AOM is largely mediated by consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), and has mainly been investigated in deep-sea sediments. Here we studied methane seepage...
Article
Full-text available
The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a key biogeochemical process regulating methane emission from marine sediments into the hydrosphere. AOM is largely mediated by consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), and has mainly been investigated in deep-sea sediments. Here we studied methane seepage...
Article
Full-text available
We studied asphalt deposits, oil seepage and gas venting during a multidisciplinary cruise in the Bay of Campeche, southern Gulf of Mexico. We conducted multibeam bathymetric mapping with an autonomous underwater vehicle and performed seafloor observations as well as sampling with a remotely operated vehicle. While previous studies concentrated on...
Article
Full-text available
The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is mediated by consortia of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and their specific partner bacteria. In thermophilic AOM consortia enriched from Guaymas Basin, members of the ANME-1 clade are associated with bacteria of the HotSeep-1 cluster, which likely perform direct electron exchange via nanowires...