The Methanogenic Bacteria, Their Ecology and Physiology

  • Robert A. Mah
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series


A study of the methane fermentation is unavoidably concerned with a study of microbial ecology because of the obligatory interactions between two major physiological participants, the chemoheterotrophic non-methanogenic bacteria and the methanogenic bacteria. In natural anaerobic habitats containing complex organic compounds and where light, sulfate, and nitrate are limited, these two groups of bacteria are linked in the degradation of organic substrates. The ultimate formation of methane and CO2 marks the last step in a series of dissimilatory reactions by which organic compounds are completely degraded. CH4 is the most reduced form of carbon and CO2 the most oxidized form of carbon.


METHANOGENIC Bacterium Methane Fermentation Methanosarcina Barkeri Methanogenic Reaction Methanobacterium Thermoautotrophicum 
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.


  1. 1.
    Balch, W.E., G.E. Fox, L.J. Magrum, C.R. Woese, and R.S. Wolfe. 1979. Methanogens: reevaluation of a unique biological group. Microbiol. Revs. 43:260–296.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barker, H.A. 1940. Studies upon the methane fermentations. VI. The isolation and culture of Methanobaotevium omelianskii.. Ant. v. Leeuwenhoek 6:201–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Boone, D.R. and M.P. Bryant. 1980. Propionate degrading bacterium Syntvophomonas wolinii. (sp. nov., gen. nov.) from methanogenic ecosystems. Abst.Ann.Meeting, Amer.Soc. Microbiol. p. 203.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mah, R.A. and M.R. Smith. 1981. The methanogenic bacteria. In The Prokaryotes. Springer Verlag, ed., H.G. Schlegel. In press.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mah, R.A., M.R. Smith and L. Baresi. 1978. Studies on an ace-tate-fermentating strain Methanoscaveina.. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 1174–1184.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mah, R.A., 1980. Isolation and characterization of Methano-cocous mazei.. Current Microbiol. 3:321–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mah, R.A., M.R. Smith, T. Ferguson, and S.H. Zinder. 1980. Methanogenesis from H2-CO2, methanol, and acetate by Methanosavcina., In Proc. of the C-1 Symposium Sheffield, England. In press.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    McInerney, M.J., M.P. Bryant, and N. Pfennig. 1979. Anaerobic bacterium that degrades fatty acids in syntrophic association with methanogens. Arch. Microbiol. 122:129–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mclnerney, M.J. and M.P. Bryant. 1980. Isolation and characterization of Syntrophomonas wolfei. (sp. nov., gen. nov.) a new anaerobic syntrophic, fatty acid-degrading bacterium. Abst. Ann. Meeting, Amer. Soc. Microbiol., p. 94.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Paynter, M.J.B. and R.E. Hungate. 1968. Characterization of Methanobaotevium mobilise. sp. n., isolated from the bovine rumen. J. Bacteriol. 95:1943–1951.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Smith, P.H. 1980. EPA Report. 600–2–80–093. “Studies of methanogeric bacteria in sludge.”Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Smith, P.H. and R.E. Hungate. 1958. Isolation and characterization of Methanobaotevium vuminantium. 3. n. sp. J. Bacteriol. 75:713–718.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Smith, M.R. and R.A. Mah. 1978. Growth and methanogenesis by Methanosavoina. strain 227 on acetate and methanol. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 36:870–879.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Smith, M.R., S.H. Zinder, and R.A. Mah. April/May 1980. Microbial methanogenesis from acetate. Process Biochem.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Toenniessen, G. 1971. Studies on acetate and methanol fermenting methanogenic enrichments. Ph.D. Thesis.UNC,Chapel Hill,N.C.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zehnder, A.J.B., B.A. Huser, T.D. Brock, and K. Wuhrmann. 1980. Characterization of an acetate-decarboxylating non-hydrogen-oxidizing methane bacterium. Arch. Microbiol. 124:1–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zeikus, J.G. and D.L. Henning. 1975. Methanobaotevium arbophilioum.. sp.nov., an obligate anaerobe isolated from wetwood of living trees. Ant. v. Leeuwenhoek. J. Microbiol. Serol. 41:543–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zinder, S.H. and R.A. Mah. 1979. Isolation and characterization of a thermoph81ic strain of Mefhanosarcina. unable to use H2-CO2 for methanogenesis. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 38:996–1008.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Mah
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Environmental and Nutritional Sciences School of Public HealthUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations