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Isolation of a novel acidiphilic methanogen from an acidic peat bog

Naturevolume 442pages192194 (2006) | Download Citation



Acidic peatlands are among the largest natural sources of atmospheric methane and harbour a large diversity of methanogenic Archaea1. Despite the ubiquity of methanogens in these peatlands, indigenous methanogens capable of growth at acidic pH values have resisted culture and isolation2,3,4; these recalcitrant methanogens include members of an uncultured family-level clade in the Methanomicrobiales prevalent in many acidic peat bogs in the Northern Hemisphere1,5,6. However, we recently succeeded in obtaining a mixed enrichment culture of a member of this clade7. Here we describe its isolation and initial characterization. We demonstrate that the optimum pH for methanogenesis by this organism is lower than that of any previously described methanogen.

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We thank E. Angert and W. Ghiorse for microscopy advice and equipment, R. Morris and S. Dedysh for advice on FISH, M. McInerney for providing us with cultures of M. hungatei JF1, and H. Trüper for advice on naming the organism. This work was supported by the NSF Microbial Observatories Program.

Author information

Author notes

    • Erika Yashiro

    Present address: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706, USA


  1. Department of Microbiology

    • Suzanna L. Bräuer
    • , Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz
    • , Erika Yashiro
    •  & Stephen H. Zinder
  2. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 14853, USA

    • Joseph B. Yavitt


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Competing interests

Reprints and permissions information is available at npg.nature.com/reprintsandpermissions. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Stephen H. Zinder.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Notes

    This file contains the Supplementary Methods section with references and Supplementary Figures 1 and 2. (DOC 361 kb)

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