MethanobacteriumDid we forget anything? Let us know

Genus nameMethanobacterium
Alternative names
NCBI taxonomy ID2160

Taxonomy (MiDAS 2.0)


16S gene copy number2-3

 In situOther
Hydrophobic cell surface2

Short-chain fatty acids

POSNEGVariableNot assessed


Species belonging to the genus Methanobacterium are hydrogenotrophic methanogens, which utilise H2/CO2 and sometimes formate and alcohols as substrates for growth and methane production 3. Growth occurs under strictly anaerobic conditions 3 5 6 78 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 and most species are able to grow autotrophically 3 6 8 9 12 16 17 21 23 24 26. The morphology of Methanobacterium in pure culture varies widely between the species, as cells may be short to long, curved or straight rods, which can occur singly, in pairs, chains or as long filaments 3 5 6 78 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26. Cells may also form large aggregates 6.

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FISH probes

Order specific probes MB310 and MB1174 1. Freeze-thaw cycles to fixed cells before hybridization has overcome problems with probe penetration for MB1174 27.


 In situOther
Nitrite Reduction
Sulfate Reduction
Short-chain Fatty Acids3691014181921222328
Proteins/Amino Acids

Abundance Information

 10 % percentileMedian90 % percentile
Activated Sludge000

Predominant InAD


[1] Raskin, Stromley, Rittmann, Stahl (1994): Group-specific 16S rRNA hybridization probes to describe natural communities of methanogens. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60 (4): 1232-40.

[2] Daffonchio, Thaveesri, Verstraete (1995): Contact angle measurement and cell hydrophobicity of granular sludge from upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactors. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61 (10): 3676-80.

[3] Whitman, W. B., Bowen, T. L. and Boone, D. R. (2014) The methanogenic bacteria. In: The Prokaryotes; Rosenberg, E.; De Long, E.; Lory, S.; Stackebrandt, E.; Thomson, F., Eds.; Springer Berlin Heidelberg: Berlin, Heidelberg; pp. 123–163. - Whitman Et Al 2014 -

[4] - NCBI genome database, NCBI id 2160 -

[5] Shlimon, Friedrich, Niemann, Ramsing, Finster (2004): Methanobacterium aarhusense sp. nov., a novel methanogen isolated from a marine sediment (Aarhus Bay, Denmark). Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 54 (Pt 3): 759-63. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.02994-0

[6] Kern, Linge, Rother (2015): Methanobacterium aggregans sp. nov., a hydrogenotrophic methanogenic archaeon isolated from an anaerobic digester. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 65 (Pt 6): 1975-80. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.000210

[7] Worakit, S., Boone, D.R., Mah, R.A., Abdel-Samie, M-E., and El-Halwagi, M.M. (1986) Methanobacterium alcaliphilum sp. Nov., a H2-utilizing methanogen that grows at high PH values. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 36(3): 380-382. - Worakit Et Al 1986docx -

[8] Zeikus, Henning (1975): Methanobacterium arbophilicum sp.nov. An obligate anaerobe isolated from wetwood of living trees. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 41 (4): 543-52.

[9] Shcherbakova, Rivkina, Pecheritsyna, Laurinavichius, Suzina, Gilichinsky, et al. (2011): Methanobacterium arcticum sp. nov., a methanogenic archaeon from Holocene Arctic permafrost. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 61 (Pt 1): 144-7. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.021311-0

[10] Ma, Liu, Dong (2005): Methanobacterium beijingense sp. nov., a novel methanogen isolated from anaerobic digesters. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 55 (Pt 1): 325-9. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.63254-0

[11] Cuzin, Ouattara, Labat, Garcia (2001): Methanobacterium congolense sp. nov., from a methanogenic fermentation of cassava peel. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 51 (Pt 2): 489-93. doi:10.1099/00207713-51-2-489

[12] Patel, G.B., Sprott, G.D., and Fein, J.E. (1990) Isolation and characterisation of Methanobacterium espanolae sp. Nov., a mesophilic, moderately acidiphilic methanogen. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 40(1): 12-18. - Patel Et Al 1990 -

[13] Mori, Harayama (2011): Methanobacterium petrolearium sp. nov. and Methanobacterium ferruginis sp. nov., mesophilic methanogens isolated from salty environments. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 61 (Pt 1): 138-43. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.022723-0

[14] Zhu, Liu, Dong (2011): Methanobacterium movens sp. nov. and Methanobacterium flexile sp. nov., isolated from lake sediment. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 61 (Pt 12): 2974-8. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.027540-0

[15] Jain, M.K., Thompson, T.E., Conway De Macario, E., and Zeikus, J.G. (1987) Speciation of Methanobacterium strain Ivanov as Methanobacterium ivanovii ap. Nov. Systematic and Applied Microbiology. 9(1-2): 77-82. - Jain Et Al 1987 -

[16] Kitamura, Fujita, Akada, Tonouchi (2011): Methanobacterium kanagiense sp. nov., a hydrogenotrophic methanogen, isolated from rice-field soil. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 61 (Pt 6): 1246-52. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.026013-0

[17] Borrel, Joblin, Guedon, Colombet, Tardy, Lehours, et al. (2012): Methanobacterium lacus sp. nov., isolated from the profundal sediment of a freshwater meromictic lake. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 62 (Pt 7): 1625-9. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.034538-0

[18] Schirmack, Mangelsdorf, Ganzert, Sand, Hillebrand-Voiculescu, Wagner, et al. (2014): Methanobacterium movilense sp. nov., a hydrogenotrophic, secondary-alcohol-utilizing methanogen from the anoxic sediment of a subsurface lake. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 64 (Pt 2): 522-7. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.057224-0

[19] Joulian, Patel, Ollivier, Garcia, Roger (2000): Methanobacterium oryzae sp. nov., a novel methanogenic rod isolated from a Philippines ricefield. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 50 Pt 2 (): 525-8. doi:10.1099/00207713-50-2-525

[20] Cadillo-Quiroz, Bräuer, Goodson, Yavitt, Zinder (2014): Methanobacterium paludis sp. nov. and a novel strain of Methanobacterium lacus isolated from northern peatlands. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 64 (Pt 5): 1473-80. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.059964-0

[21] Zellner, G., Bleicher, K., Braun, E., Kneifel, H., Tindall, B.J., Conway De Macario, E and Winter, J. (1989) Characterisation of a new mesophilic secondary alcohol-utilizing methanogen, Methanobacterium palustre spec. nov. from a peat bog. Arch. Microbiol. 151:1-9. - Zellner Et Al 1989 -

[22] SMITH, HUNGATE (1958): Isolation and characterization of Methanobacterium ruminantium n. sp. J. Bacteriol. 75 (6): 713-8.

[23] Kotelnikova, Macario, Pedersen (1998): Methanobacterium subterraneum sp. nov., a new alkaliphilic, eurythermic and halotolerant methanogen isolated from deep granitic groundwater. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 48 Pt 2 (): 357-67. doi:10.1099/00207713-48-2-357

[24] Blotevogel, K-H., and Fischer, U. (1985) Isolation and characterization of a new thermophilic and autotrophic methane producing bacterium: Methanobacterium thermoaggregans spec. nov. Arch. Microbiol. 142: 218-222. - Blotevogel And Fischer 1985 -

[25] Zeikus, Wolfe (1972): Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicus sp. n., an anaerobic, autotrophic, extreme thermophile. J. Bacteriol. 109 (2): 707-15.

[26] Krivushin, Shcherbakova, Petrovskaya, Rivkina (2010): Methanobacterium veterum sp. nov., from ancient Siberian permafrost. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 60 (Pt 2): 455-9. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.011205-0

[27] Sekiguchi, Kamagata, Nakamura, Ohashi, Harada (1999): Fluorescence in situ hybridization using 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotides reveals localization of methanogens and selected uncultured bacteria in mesophilic and thermophilic sludge granules. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65 (3): 1280-8.

[28] Kotsyurbenko, Friedrich, Simankova, Nozhevnikova, Golyshin, Timmis, et al. (2007): shift from acetoclastic to H2-dependent methanogenesis in a west Siberian peat bog at low pH values and isolation of an acidophilic Methanobacterium strain. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 73 (7): 2344-8. doi:10.1128/AEM.02413-06

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