The family methanobacteriaceae

Aharon Oren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The family Methanobacteriaceae (order Methanobacteriales, class Methanobacteria) currently (January 2014) consists of four genera: Methanobacterium, Methanobrevibacter, Methanosphaera and Methanothermobacter, with a total of 49 species. Morphologically the family is very diverse, cell shape varying from cocci or short rods to long filamentous rods. Motility is seldom encountered. The cell wall consists of pseudomurein, and cells generally stain Gram-positive. Polar lipids are based on archaeol and caldarchaeol core lipids. Phopholipid head groups include glucose, myo-inositol, serine and in some genera ethanolamine. All species are strict anaerobes, and most members of the family obtain energy for growth from the reduction of CO2 with H2. Formate is used by many species. Species of the genus Methanosphaera do not reduce CO2 but obtain their energy only from the reduction of methanol by H2. The mol% G+C of the DNA varies between 23 and 62. Members of the family are widely distributed in anaerobic environments including aquatic sediments, sewage treatment systems, gastrointestinal tracts of animals, and in geothermal areas.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Prokaryotes
Subtitle of host publicationOther Major Lineages of Bacteria and The Archaea
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9783642301230
ISBN (Print)3642389538, 9783642301223
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014. All rights reserved.


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