MethanothrixDid we forget anything? Let us know

Genus nameMethanothrix
Alternative namesMethanosaeta
NCBI taxonomy ID2222

Taxonomy (MiDAS 2.0)


16S gene copy number1-2

 In situOther
Hydrophobic cell surface78

Methanothrix soehngenii (formaly Methanosaeta concilii). Bar, 10 microns (Courtesy of D. Boone). - Source:10

Short-chain fatty acids
Proteins/Amino acids

POSNEGVariableNot assessed


Methanothrix are acetoclastic methanogens, belonging to the domain Archaea. Growth occurs under strictly anaerobic conditions with acetate as the sole source of energy 6. No other methanogenic substrates can serve as sources for growth, energy and methane production 6 11. Methane and CO2 are produced as end products of acetate assimilation 6 12 13 14. Members of the genus are frequently observed in anaerobic sludge granules obtained from anaerobic reactors 12 15 16. In pure culture, cells appear as rods with flat ends, which may occur as long filaments 6. The name Methanosaeta Patel and Sprotte 1990 and Methanothrix Huser et al. 1983 refer to the same taxon, and as a consequence, all species in the genus Methanosaeta are transferred to the genus Methanothrix 20.

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FISH probes

Genus specific probe MX825. Recommended to be used for the characterisation of microbial communities under mesophilic conditions only, due to poor hybridisation of MX825 with thermophilic strains 1. Probes MX825b and MX825c are suggested to be used in a probe mixture with MX825 to enable greater coverage for the target group 17. Species specific probes MS1, MS2, and MS5, designed to differentiate between Methanothrix soehngenii (formaly Methanosaeta concilii) and Methanosarcina barkeri to the species level 18.


 In situOther
Aerobic Heterotroph611
Nitrite Reduction
Sulfate Reduction
Short-chain Fatty Acids151961114
Proteins/Amino Acids11

Abundance Information

 10 % percentileMedian90 % percentile
Activated Sludge000

Predominant InAD - Mesophilic


[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] - NCBI genome database, NCBI id 2222 -

[3] Hu, Tom, Singh, Thomas, Baker, Piceno, et al. (2016): Genome-Resolved Metagenomic Analysis Reveals Roles for Candidate Phyla and Other Microbial Community Members in Biogeochemical Transformations in Oil Reservoirs. MBio 7 (1): e01669-15. doi:10.1128/mBio.01669-15

[4] Zhu, Zheng, Ai, Zhang, Liu, Liu, et al. (2012): The genome characteristics and predicted function of methyl-group oxidation pathway in the obligate aceticlastic methanogens, Methanosaeta spp. PLoS ONE 7 (5): e36756. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036756

[5] Barber, Zhang, Harnack, Olson, Kaul, Ingram-Smith, et al. (2011): Complete genome sequence of Methanosaeta concilii, a specialist in aceticlastic methanogenesis. J. Bacteriol. 193 (14): 3668-9. doi:10.1128/JB.05031-11

[6] Patel, B.G., and Sprott, D.G. (1990) Methanosaeta concilii gen. nov., sp. nov. ("Methanothrix concilii") and Methanosaeta thermoacetophila nom. Rev., comb. Nov. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 40(1): 79-82. - Patel And Sprott 1990docx -

[7] 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.

[8] Grotenhuis, Plugge, Stams, Zehnder (1992): Hydrophobicities and electrophoretic mobilities of anaerobic bacterial isolates from methanogenic granular sludge. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 58 (3): 1054-6.

[9] Smith, Ingram-Smith (2007): Methanosaeta, the forgotten methanogen? Trends Microbiol. 15 (4): 150-5. doi:10.1016/j.tim.2007.02.002

[10] 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 -

[11] Ma, Liu, Dong (2006): Methanosaeta harundinacea sp. nov., a novel acetate-scavenging methanogen isolated from a UASB reactor. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 56 (Pt 1): 127-31. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.63887-0

[12] Satoh, Miura, Tsushima, Okabe (2007): Layered structure of bacterial and archaeal communities and their in situ activities in anaerobic granules. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 73 (22): 7300-7. doi:10.1128/AEM.01426-07

[13] Montero, García-Morales, Sales, Solera (2009): Analysis of methanogenic activity in a thermophilic-dry anaerobic reactor: use of fluorescent in situ hybridization. Waste Manag 29 (3): 1144-51. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2008.08.010

[14] Mizukami, Takeda, Akada, Fujita (2006): Isolation and characteristics of methanosaeta in paddy field soils. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 70 (4): 828-35. doi:10.1271/bbb.70.828

[15] Harmsen, Kengen, Akkermans, Stams, de Vos (1996): Detection and localization of syntrophic propionate-oxidizing bacteria in granular sludge by in situ hybridization using 16S rRNA-based oligonucleotide probes. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62 (5): 1656-63.

[16] Díaz, Stams, Amils, Sanz (2006): Phenotypic properties and microbial diversity of methanogenic granules from a full-scale upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactor treating brewery wastewater. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72 (7): 4942-9. doi:10.1128/AEM.02985-05

[17] Crocetti, Murto, Björnsson (2006): An update and optimisation of oligonucleotide probes targeting methanogenic Archaea for use in fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH). J. Microbiol. Methods 65 (1): 194-201. doi:10.1016/j.mimet.2005.07.007

[18] Rocheleau, Greer, Lawrence, Cantin, Laramee, Guiot, et al. (1999): Differentiation of methanosaeta concilii and methanosarcina barkeri in anaerobic mesophilic granular sludge by fluorescent In situ hybridization and confocal scanning laser microscopy Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65 (5): 2222-9.

[19] Collins, Mahony, Enright, Gieseke, de Beer, O'Flaherty, et al. (2007): Determination and localisation of in situ substrate uptake by anaerobic wastewater treatment granular biofilms. Water Sci. Technol. 55 (8-9): 369-76.

[20] - -

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