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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1988 Dec;54(12):2964-70.

Presence of an unusual methanogenic bacterium in coal gasification waste.

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Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, Division of Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


Methanogenic bacteria growing on a pilot-scale, anaerobic filter processing coal gasification waste were enriched in a mineral salts medium containing hydrogen and acetate as potential energy sources. Transfer of the enrichments to methanol medium resulted in the initial growth of a strain of Methanosarcina barkeri, but eventually small cocci became dominant. The cocci growing on methanol produced methane and exhibited the typical fluorescence of methanogenic bacteria. They grew in the presence of the cell wall synthesis-inhibiting antibiotics d-cycloserine, fosfomycin, penicillin G, and vancomycin as well as in the presence of kanamycin, an inhibitor of protein synthesis in eubacteria. The optimal growth temperature was 37 degrees C, and the doubling time was 7.5 h. The strain lysed after reaching stationary phase. The bacterium grew poorly with hydrogen as the energy source and failed to grow on acetate. Morphologically, the coccus shared similarities with Methanosarcina sp. Cells were 1 mum wide, exhibited the typical thick cell wall and cross-wall formation, and formed tetrads. Packets and cysts were not formed.

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