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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02421

Characteristics of microbial communities and their correlation with environmental substrates and stratum texture in the gas-bearing formation of Hangzhou Bay, China

 Tao Yu1,  Meng Zhang1, 2, Da Kang1, Shuang Zhao3, Aqiang Ding4, Qiujian Lin1,  Dongdong Xu1, Yi Hong3, Lizhong Wang3 and  Ping Zheng1*
  • 1College of Environmental and Resource Sciences(CERS), Zhejiang University, China
  • 2Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre, Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 3College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Zhejiang University, China
  • 4College of Resources and Environmental Science, Chongqing University, China

Shallow gas is a kind of natural gas buried in shallow strata, generally, with methane as the main component, endowing it a potential energy resource while also a potential risk to the safety of ground engineering and environment. Microbial activity is usually regarded as an important driving force to generate shallow gas via metabolizing the environmental substrates. Therefore, the research on the microbial communities will be helpful to reveal the distribution of shallow gas in the gas-bearing formation. In this study, 30 sediment samples below the seabed in Hangzhou Bay (China) from depths of 1.5 m to 55 m were collected to investigate their microbial community, environmental characteristics and sediment type (clay or sand). It turned out that the presence of shallow gas had a good correlation with the distribution of archaea rather than bacteria, with the dominant microbe of Bathyarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota in the formation. Methanosarcinaceae and ANME-1a with the capacity of methane metabolism occupied high proportions. The correlation analysis and redundancy analysis (RDA) suggested that ammonium was a key environmental substrate to indicate the microbial community in the formation. The sediment type was proposed to shape environmental substrates in the formation, thus further affecting the microbial communities. The clay strata were demonstrated to have an important role in the generation and distribution of shallow gas, and more attention should be paid in terms of its resource discovery and engineering safety assessment.

Keywords: environmental substrates, microbial community, Shallow gas, Gas bearing formation, Sediment type

Received: 20 May 2019; Accepted: 07 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Yu, Zhang, Kang, Zhao, Ding, Lin, Xu, Hong, Wang and Zheng. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Ping Zheng, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences(CERS), Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang Province, China, pzheng@zju.edu.cn