Review

Microbiology

, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 387-401

First online:

Thermophilic and thermotolerant aerobic methanotrophs

  • Yu. A. TrotsenkoAffiliated withSkryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Russian Academy of Sciences Email author 
  • , K. A. MedvedkovaAffiliated withSkryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , V. N. KhmeleninaAffiliated withSkryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , B. Ts. EshinimayevAffiliated withSkryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Russian Academy of Sciences

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Abstract

The review generalizes the modern data on the taxonomic, structural, and functional diversity of aerobic methanotrophs growing at 25–50°C (Methylococcus capsulatus), 30–62°C (Methylocaldum szegediense, Methylocaldum gracile, and Methylocaldum tepidum), and 50–65°C (Methylothermus thermalis), which belong mainly to the Gammaproteobacteria. The specific features of adaptation of these methanotrophs to the temperature influences are considered on the metabolic and genetic levels. The recent sensational reports on the discovery and primary characterization of thermoacidophilic methanotrophs of the phylum Verrucomicrobia surviving at extreme pH (1–2) and temperature (65°C) values, corresponding to extremely low levels of CH4 and O2 solubility, are analyzed. The possibilities of implementation of the biotechnological potential of thermophilic and thermotolerant methanotrophs are discussed.

Key words

aerobic methanotrophs thermoadaptation structural and functional features taxonomy and phylogeny