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The Order Methanosarcinales

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The Prokaryotes

Introduction

Methanogens (methane-producing microbes) belong to the domain Archaea, and 16S rRNA gene sequences indicate that they form a phylogenetically distinct clade within the kingdom Euryarchaeota. The order Methanosarcinales is one of the five orders of methanogens. These microbes catalyze the terminal step in the degradation of organic matter in anoxic environments where light and terminal electron-acceptors other than CO2 are limiting. Representatives of the Methanosarcinales are widespread and cosmopolitan in anaerobic environments. They are found in freshwater, marine environments, and extremely halophilic sediments as well as in anaerobic sludge digestors and the gastrointestinal tracts of animals. Use of molecular techniques has also identified Methanosarcinales in the deep terrestrial subsurface environments such as in the gold mines in South Africa.

Members of the order Methanosarcinales are coccoids, pseudosarcinae, or sheathed rods. Most cells have a protein cell wall,...

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Kendall, M.M., Boone, D.R. (2006). The Order Methanosarcinales. In: Dworkin, M., Falkow, S., Rosenberg, E., Schleifer, KH., Stackebrandt, E. (eds) The Prokaryotes. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-30743-5_12

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