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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2001 Jul;24(2):166-76.

Taxonomic characterization of new alkaliphilic and alkalitolerant methanotrophs from soda lakes of the Southeastern Transbaikal region and description of Methylomicrobium buryatense sp.nov.

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G.K.Skryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms RAS, Pushchino, Moscow, Russia.


Five strains of obligate methanotrophic bacteria (4G, 5G, 6G, 7G and 5B) isolated from bottom sediments of Southeastern Transbaikal soda lakes (pH 9.5-10.5) are taxonomically described. These bacteria are aerobic, Gram-negative monotrichous rods having tightly packed cup-shaped structures on the outer cell wall surface (S-layers) and Type I intracytoplasmic membranes. All the isolates possess particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) and one strain (5G) also contains soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO). They assimilate methane and methanol via the ribulose monophosphate pathway (RuMP). The isolates are alkalitolerant or facultatively alkaliphilic, able to grow at pH 10.5-11.0 and optimally at pH 8.5-9.5. These organisms are obligately dependent on the presence of sodium ions in the growth medium and tolerate up to 0.9-1.4 M NaCl or 1 M NaHCO3. Although being mesophilic, all the isolates are resistant to heating (80 degrees C, 20 min), freezing and drying. Their cellular fatty acids profiles primarily consist of C(16:1). The major phospholipids are phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylglycerol. The main quinone is Q-8. The DNA G+C content ranges from 49.2-51.5 mol %. Comparative 16S rDNA sequencing showed that the newly isolated methanotrophs are related to membres of the Methylomicrobium genus. However, they differ from the known members of this genus by DNA-DNA relatedness. Based on pheno- and genotypic characteristics, we propose a new species of the genus Methylomicrobium Methylomicrobium buryatense sp. nov.

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