Morphology varies from rods to cocci. Cells are usually single or diploid, occasionally forming chains and tetrads. Do not form rosettes. If motile, possess single polar flagellum. Gram negative. The majority of species produce a polysaccharide cyst-like resting stage. Cysts may be desiccation resistant or sensitive. Dissimilatory methane oxidation is associated with type I intracytoplasmic membranes, which appear as stacks of vesicular disks derived from convolutions of the cytoplasmic membrane. Catalase and oxidase are usually produced. Strictly aerobic respiratory metabolism with oxygen as the electron acceptor. Obligate utilizers of methane and other C 1 compounds for carbon and energy. Compounds with carbon-carbon bonds are not utilized. High levels of organic solutes and ammonia ions inhibit growth. C1 compounds are incorporated by the ribulose monophosphate pathway. The tricarboxylic acid cycle is incomplete, with 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase activity absent. Nitrogenase activity may be present. Contain mainly C 16 fatty acids, which are predominantly monounsaturated with several different C16:1 isomers present. Ubiquinone-8 or 18-methyleneubiquinone-8 are the predominant lipoquinones.


Methane Monooxygenase Intracytoplasmic Membrane Methylococcus Capsulatus Serine Pathway Soluble Methane Monooxygenase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further Reading

  1. Bowman, J.P., L.I. Sly, P.D. Nichols and A.C. Hayward. 1993 Revised taxonomy of the methanotrophs: description of Methylobacter gen. nov., emendation of Methylococcus, validation of Methylosinus and Methylocystis species, and a proposal that the family Methylococcaceae includes only the group I methanotrophs. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 43: 735–753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cavanaugh, C.M. 1993. Methanotroph-invertebrate symbioses in the marine environment: ultrastructural, biochemical and molecular studies. In Murrell and Kelley (Editors), Microbial Growth on C1 Compounds, Intercept Press Ltd., Andover. pp. 315–328.Google Scholar
  3. Hanson, R.S. and T.E. Hanson. 1996 Methanotrophic bacteria. Microbiol. Rev. 60: 439–471.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Hanson, R.S., A.I. Netrusov and K. Tsuji. 1992. The obligate methanotrophic bacteria Methylococcus, Methylomonas, and Methylosinus. In Balows, Trüper, Dworkin, Harder and Schleifer (Editors), The Prokaryotes. A Handbook of Bacteria: Ecophysiology, Isolation, Identification, Applications, 2nd Ed., Vol. 3, Springer-Verlag, New York. pp. 2350–2364.Google Scholar
  5. Whittenbury, R.A., K.C. Phillips and J.F. Wilkinson. 1970 Enrichment, isolation and some properties of methane-utilizing bacteria. J. Gen. Microbiol.61: 205–218.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. Bowman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Agricultural ScienceUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

Personalised recommendations