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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1980 Aug;40(2):400-7.

Characterization of two new facultative methanotrophs.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, SC-42, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195.


Two new facultative methane-oxidizing bacteria have been isolated from lake water enrichments. The organisms have been characterized in terms of colony types, growth characteristics, the guanine plus cytosine content of their deoxyribonucleic acid, thin sections, oxidation rates, and carbon assimilation pathways. Methane-grown cells of both organisms contained intracytoplasmic membranes similar to those described as type II in other methanotrophic bacteria. Neither organism had such membranes when grown heterotrophically. Both organisms assimilated methane by way of the isocitrate lyase-negative serine pathway for formaldehyde incorporation. The enzymes of this pathway were high in specific activity in cells grown on methane and were at low levels in cells grown either on heterotrophic substrates or on heterotrophic substrates plus methane. It is proposed that both organisms be classified in the genus Methylobacterium as two new species, Methylobacterium ethanolicum and Methylobacterium hypolimneticum.

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