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Syst Appl Microbiol. 1983;4(3):305-12. doi: 10.1016/S0723-2020(83)80017-4.

Oxygen sensitivity of methanogenic bacteria.

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Mikrobiologisches Institut ETH Zürich, ETH-Zentrum, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland.


Exponentially growing cells of five methanogenic bacteria were plated on solid media with efficiencies greater than 80%. This permitted the determination of the oxygen sensitivity of these strains under standardized conditions involving the exposure of suspensions of starved cells in non-reduced buffer to air. The death curves of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, Methanobrevibacter arboriphilus and Methanosarcina barkeri were biphasic. Exposures to air for up to 30 h were without effect on the number of colony forming units whereas longer periods of contact with oxygen led to a rapid decrease in viability. In Methanococcus voltae and Methanococcus vannielii the number of surviving cells upon exposure to air dropped exponentially without lag leading to 99% kill within 10 h.

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