The Order Methanobacteriales

  • Adam S. Bonin
  • David R. Boone
Reference work entry

Characteristics of Methanobacteriales

Members of the order Methanobacteriales are distinguished from other methanogens by their limited range of catabolic substrates, their morphology, lipid composition, and rDNA sequence. The Methanobacteriales are generally hydrogenotrophic, using H2 to reduce CO2 to CH4. Some members of this order can use formate, CO, or secondary alcohols as electron donors for CO2 reduction. However, members of one genus within this order, Methanosphaera, use H2 to reduce methanol to methane. The predominant cell wall polymer of Methanobacteriales is pseudomurein, which distinguishes this order from the Methanomicrobiales. Lipids composing the cell membranes include caldarchaeol and myo-inositol. Cells usually stain Gram positive and are generally rod-shaped, often forming chains or long filaments up to 40 µm in length. The order Methanobacteriales is divided into two families, the Methanobacteriaceae and Methanothermaceae, on the basis of phylogenetic analysis...


Type Strain Anaerobic Digestor Rumen Fluid Sole Substrate Methanobacterium Formicicum 
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© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam S. Bonin
  • David R. Boone

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