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Biogeochemistry

Methane and microbes

Microorganisms can carry out a wonderful range of chemical transformations. The anaerobic oxidation of methane seemed not to be among them. But it is — both with sulphate, and now it turns out, with nitrate.

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Figure 1: The anaerobic oxidation of methane (CH4).
Figure 2: Nitrate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane1 and related processes.

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Thauer, R., Shima, S. Methane and microbes. Nature 440, 878–879 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/440878a

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