The Family Methylococcaceae

  • John P. BowmanEmail author
Reference work entry


The family Methylococcaceae includes the type I methanotrophs, bacterial taxa belonging to class Gammaproteobacteria able to use methane and methanol as sole carbon and energy sources but are unable to use substrates containing carbon-carbon bonds. Phylogenetically the family is polyphyletic and includes three distinct clades. Nevertheless, all three clades have characteristics typical of type I methanotrophs including intracellular membranes arranged in lamellar stacks, possession of the particulate version but not usually the soluble version of methane monooxygenase, and utilization of the ribulose monophoshate pathway to assimilate C1 carbon units. Members of the Methylococcaceae are found in any environment where methane and oxygen coexist including cold to thermal environments in both terrestrial and marine locations. Type I methanotrophs are efficient oxidizers of methane and have been applied as biofilters in industrial and remediation applications. Ecologically type I methanotrophs intercept much of the methane generated either biotically or abiotically and thus have a critical role in Earth’s carbon cycles and natural homeostatic processes.


Methane Oxidation Soda Lake Main Fatty Acid pmoA Gene 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.



The author would like to thank Dr Raul Munoz for supplying the phylogenetic tree information for this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Safety Centre, Tasmanian Institute of AgricultureUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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