Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 151, Issue 5, pp 381–390 | Cite as

Methanocorpusculaceae fam. nov., represented by Methanocorpusculum parvum, Methanocorpusculum sinense spec. nov. and Methanocorpusculum bavaricum spec. nov.

  • G. Zellner
  • E. Stackebrandt
  • P. Messner
  • B. J. Tindall
  • E. Conway de Macario
  • H. Kneifel
  • U. B. Sleytr
  • J. Winter
Original Papers


Two new methanogenic bacteria, Methanocorpusculum sinense spec. nov. strain DSM 4274 from a pilot plant for treatment of distillery wastewater in Chengdu (Province Sichuan, China), and Methanocorpusculum bavaricum spec. nov. strain DSM 4179, from a wastewater pond of the sugar factory in Regensburg (Bavaria, FRG) are described. Methanocorpusculum strains are weakly motile and form irregularly coccoid cells, about 1 μm in diameter. The cell envelope consists of a cytoplasmic membrane and a S-layer, composed of hexagonally arranged glycoprotein subunits with molecular weights of 90000 (Methanocorpusculum parvum), 92000 (M. sinense), and 94000 (M. bavaricum). The center-to-center spacings are 14.3 nm, 15.8 nm and 16.0 nm, respectively. Optimal growth of strains is obtained in the mesophilic temperature range and at a pH around 7. Methane is produced from H2/CO2, formate, 2-propanol/CO2 and 2-butanol/CO2 by M. parvum and M. bavaricum, whereas M. sinense can only utilize H2/CO2 and formate. Growth of M. sinense and M. bavaricum is dependent on the presence of clarified rumen fluid. The G+C content of the DNA of the three strains is ranging from 47.7–53.6 mol% as determined by different methods. A similar, but distinct polar lipid pattern indicates a close relationship between the three Methanocorpusculum species. The polyamine patterns of M. parvum, M. sinense and M. bavaricum are similar, but distinct from those of other methanogens and are characterized by a high concentration of the otherwise rare 1,3-diaminopropane. Quantitative comparison of the antigenic fingerprint of members of Methanocorpusculum revealed no antigenic relationship with any one of the reference methanogens tested. On the basis of the distant phylogenetic position of M. parvum and the data presented in this paper a new family, the Methanocorpusculaceae fam. nov., is defined.

Key words

Archaebacteria Methanocorpusculaceae Methanocorpusculum sinense spec. nov., Methanocorpusculum bavaricum spec. nov. Methanocorpusculum parvum 16 S rRNA Secondary alcohols Lipids Polyamines S-layer Glycoproteins Physiology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Zellner
    • 1
  • E. Stackebrandt
    • 2
  • P. Messner
    • 3
  • B. J. Tindall
    • 4
  • E. Conway de Macario
    • 5
  • H. Kneifel
    • 6
  • U. B. Sleytr
    • 3
  • J. Winter
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut für MikrobiologieUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Allgemeine MikrobiologieChristian-Albrechts-UniversitätKielGermany
  3. 3.Zentrum für UltrastrukturforschungUniversität für BodenkulturViennaAustria
  4. 4.Institut für MikrobiologieRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-UniversitätBonnGermany
  5. 5.Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and ResearchNew York State Department of HealthAlbanyUSA
  6. 6.Institut für Biotechnologie, Institut 3Kernforschungsanlage Jülich GmbHJülichGermany

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