Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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The former lake of Texcoco is located in the Valley of Mexico City (Mexico). This is a unique and extreme soil, highly
saline-sodic, with electrolytic conductivity (EC) up to 150 dS m-1 and pH up to 10.5. The composition of aerobic methane-
oxidizing bacteria (MOB) communities was studied in three soils from the former lake Texcoco (Mexico) and compared to that
in two arable soils. The MOB was identified on the basis of comparative sequence analysis of the pmoA gene that encodes for
a subunit of the particulate methane monooxygenase, a key enzyme in the aerobic methane oxidation process. The sequences
from the arable soils belonged to type I and II methanotrophs. The clones were closely related to JR-2, JR-3, USC-γ and USC-α
clusters that have previously been detected in upland soils. In the saline alkaline soils, a novel group of sequences related to the
Nitrosococcus-like clade was detected (>92% of clones sequenced). These data indicated that the methanotrophic communities
in the soil from the former lake Texcoco differed from those in arable soils and further experiments are needed to confirm that
the methanotrophic community found in Texcoco soils oxidizes methane under adverse conditions.
Nancy Serrano-Silva, from Colombia, has been a PhD student since 2010. She is studying in the department of Biotechnology and Bioengineering at CINVESTAV-
IPN, Mexico. Her topic of research is the aerobic methane oxidation in soils. Currently she is working in the Laboratory of Soil Ecology of CINVESTAV and she has
recently coauthored a review article about Methanogenesis and Methanotrophy in Soil that was accepted for publishing.
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