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. 2015 Feb;4(1):1-11.
doi: 10.1002/mbo3.232. Epub 2014 Dec 22.

Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane: An "Active" Microbial Process

Free PMC article

Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane: An "Active" Microbial Process

Mengmeng Cui et al. Microbiologyopen. .
Free PMC article


The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is an important sink of methane that plays a significant role in global warming. AOM was first found to be coupled with sulfate reduction and mediated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). ANME, often forming consortia with SRB, are phylogenetically related to methanogenic archaea. ANME-1 is even able to produce methane. Subsequently, it has been found that AOM can also be coupled with denitrification. The known microbes responsible for this process are Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera (M. oxyfera) and Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens (M. nitroreducens). Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera belongs to the NC10 bacteria, can catalyze nitrite reduction through an "intra-aerobic" pathway, and may catalyze AOM through an aerobic methane oxidation pathway. However, M. nitroreducens, which is affiliated with ANME-2d archaea, may be able to catalyze AOM through the reverse methanogenesis pathway. Moreover, manganese (Mn(4+) ) and iron (Fe(3+) ) can also be used as electron acceptors of AOM. This review summarizes the mechanisms and associated microbes of AOM. It also discusses recent progress in some unclear key issues about AOM, including ANME-1 in hypersaline environments, the effect of oxygen on M. oxyfera, and the relationship of M. nitroreducens with ANME.

Keywords: Anaerobic methanotrophic archaea; Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens; Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera; anaerobic oxidation of methane; methane.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Three different models of anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM) depending on the different electron acceptors: (A) sulfate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (S-DAMO); (B) metal ion (Mn4+ and Fe3+)-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (M-DAMO); and (C, D) nitrate/nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (N-DAMO). ANME, an anaerobic methanotrophic archaea; SRB, sulfate-reducing bacteria; M. oxyfera, Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera; M. nitroreducens, Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens; MBGD, marine benthic group D.

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