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Isolation of a novel acidiphilic methanogen from an acidic peat bog


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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Figure 1: Photomicrographs of culture 6A8.
Figure 2: Effect of pH on methanogenesis by culture 6A8 grown at 28 °C.


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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.

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Correspondence to Stephen H. Zinder.

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

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Bräuer, S., Cadillo-Quiroz, H., Yashiro, E. et al. Isolation of a novel acidiphilic methanogen from an acidic peat bog. Nature 442, 192–194 (2006).

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