Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Res Microbiol. 2013 Nov;164(9):959-72. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2013.07.004. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Microbial methanogenesis in subsurface oil and coal.

Author information

  • 1Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, CNRS UMR 5276, 46 Allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon cedex 07, France.


It is now clear that active methanogens are present in the deep-subsurface. This paper reviews microbial population structures and the biodegradation of organic compounds to methane in situ within oil reservoirs and coal deposits. It summarizes our current knowledge of methanogenes and methanogenesis, fermenters, synthrophs and microbial metabolism of complex organic compounds in these two widely occurring organic-rich subsurface environments. This review is not intended to be an exhaustive report of microbial diversity. Rather, it illustrates the similarities and differences between the two environments with specific examples, from the nature of the organic molecules to the methanogenic metabolic pathways and the structure of the microbial populations to demonstrate that widely diverging microbial populations show surprisingly similar metabolic capabilities.

Copyright © 2013 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Biogenic methane; Biotransformation; Coalbed methane; Deep-biosphere; Methanogenesis; Oil degradation

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk