Danxian Liu ’23
Reconstruction of Metagenome-Assembled Genomes from Ancient Siberian Permafrost Sediments
I analyzed three reconstructed metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from marine permafrost sediments from the coast of the East Siberian Sea to study the microorganisms responsible for past and present methane production and consumption in ancient permafrost sediments. I discovered that one of the MAGs was closely related to methanogen affiliated with the microorganism Methanoregula, while the other two were related to anaerobic methanotrophs ANME-1 and ANME-2. All MAGs contained genes encoding methyl-coenzyme M reductase, the crucial enzyme responsible for the last step in methanogenesis and the first step in anaerobic methane oxidation. My work focused on reconstructing the metabolic pathways of the methanogenic and methanotrophic microorganisms contributing to the methane cycling present in the permafrost sediments. Through this experience, I gained familiarity with Linux, improved my understanding of phylogenetics and enhanced my ability to interpret and analyze data. This internship helped me better understand the relationship between microorganisms and methane cycling and encouraged me to further study phylogenetics.
Climate and Environmental Science
Geomicrobiology Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University
Tullis Onstott, Professor of Geosciences; Renxing Liang, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Geosciences