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Yu Xia

Oxford Nanopore-based metagenomic study on high-altitude permafrost microbiome

Yu performed in-field nanopore sequencing to investigate the microbiome of high-altitude permafrost on mountains at the edge of the Tibetan plateau, sequencing at 3,000-4,000m.

On-site MinION sequencing ‘is very useful for us because we can get a rough idea of the microbiome using a laptop’.

Oscillatoria genus was enriched at 4000m, where there’s stronger solar radiation, and genus Stenotrophomonas was enriched at 3500m, where there’s higher nitrogen concentration.

Yu saw very active aerobic methane oxidation by Methylomonas in thawed permafrost; this was associated with low methane emission.

Yu emphasised how methane metabolism was important to investigate as methane is a ‘much worse greenhouse gas’.

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