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J Biotechnol. 2015 May 10;201:43-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2014.11.020. Epub 2014 Nov 29.

Insights into the annotated genome sequence of Methanoculleus bourgensis MS2(T), related to dominant methanogens in biogas-producing plants.

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Center for Biotechnology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.
Institute of Microbiology and Wine Research, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
Department of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Gießen, Germany.
Center for Biotechnology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany. Electronic address:


The final step of the biogas production process, the methanogenesis, is frequently dominated by members of the genus Methanoculleus. In particular, the species Methanoculleus bourgensis was identified to play a role in different biogas reactor systems. The genome of the type strain M. bourgensis MS2(T), originally isolated from a sewage sludge digestor, was completely sequenced to analyze putative adaptive genome features conferring competitiveness within biogas reactor environments to the strain. Sequencing and assembly of the M. bourgensis MS2(T) genome yielded a chromosome with a size of 2,789,773 bp. Comparative analysis of M. bourgensis MS2(T) and Methanoculleus marisnigri JR1 revealed significant similarities. The absence of genes for a putative ammonium uptake system may indicate that M. bourgensis MS2(T) is adapted to environments rich in ammonium/ammonia. Specific genes featuring predicted functions in the context of osmolyte production were detected in the genome of M. bourgensis MS2(T). Mapping of metagenome sequences derived from a production-scale biogas plant revealed that M. bourgensis MS2(T) almost completely comprises the genetic information of dominant methanogens present in the biogas reactor analyzed. Hence, availability of the M. bourgensis MS2(T) genome sequence may be valuable regarding further research addressing the performance of Methanoculleus species in agricultural biogas plants.


Archaea; Compatible solute; Metagenome; Methanomicrobiales; Nitrogen metabolism

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