Methanogenesis at High Latitudes

  • Xiuzhu Dong
  • Jianqing Tian
  • Lei Qi
  • Lingyan Li
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


Methane (CH4) is the second greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide (CO2), and a quite portion of CH4 is released from permafrost and cold wetlands at high latitudes and altitudes. Global warming is causing permafrost thawing that results in release of the permafrost stored ancient carbon by microbial degradation at elevated temperatures. Methanogenesis is exclusively implemented by methanogenic Archaea although thus far only a few of the psychrophilic or psychrotolerant methanogen species have been cultured. In this chapter, we present methanogenesis pathways prevalent in the cold regions at both the earth poles and the high altitude Tibetan Plateau, as well as information on cold adapted methanogens that are responsible for the methane production. At the last, we show the distinct cold adaptive mechanisms found in methanogenic Archaea.



We thank the NSFC grants (31430001, 31670049) in supporting our study on the methanogenesis in Tibetan Plateau, from these projects we leant the knowledge and enable us to accomplish this chapter.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiuzhu Dong
    • 1
  • Jianqing Tian
    • 2
  • Lei Qi
    • 1
  • Lingyan Li
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Microbial ResourcesInstitute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of MycologyInstitute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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