noun, plural: methanotrophs
An organism that metabolize methane as a source of carbon and energy
Methanotrophs are organisms that require methane as a source of carbon and energy for their metabolism. They are gram-negative bacteria that are capable in utilizing methane as a carbon energy source and able to grow both aerobically or anaerobically which only need single-carbon compound to live on. These prokaryotes occur mostly in soils, rice paddles, mud, landfills, and other places where methane is available. They can grow aerobically or anaerobically. In aerobic conditions, they use oxygen and methane to produce formaldehyde. They then incorporate it into organic compounds through ribulose monophosphate pathway or by serine pathway. An example of methanotroph is a gammaproteobacterium that utilize RuMP pathway in assimilating carbon. Such bacteria are referred to as type I methanotrophs. Type II methanotrophs are those from alphaproteobacteria that utilize the serine pathway of carbon assimilation. They have a system of internal membranes where methane oxidation occurs.1
Methanotrophs are now being considered for use in managing greenhouse gases that account for global warming since they are capable of absorbing methane from the atmosphere.
Methanotrophs are different from methanogens. The latter are microbes, particularly archaeabacteria, that are capable of methanogenesis. They produce and release methane as part of their metabolism.
Methanotroph serves as biofilters in the oxidation of methane formed in anaerobic environments, as oxygen is available in soils the atmospheric methane is corroded. Its behavior in environment is significantly inclined by agricultural practices and other human actions. Some degrees of methanotrophs have a genetic ability to produce a soluble methane monooxygenase that can catalyze the fast corrosion of environmental contaminants including trichloroethylene.
Aerobic methanotrophs bacteria can oxidize methane through the enzyme methane monooxygenase (MMO). These enzymes can convert non-growth substrates by either mounting or latent cells. It also present almost everywhere that can cometabolize various aliphatic compounds like alkanes, and aromatic compounds in which methanotrophs have been extremely studied for the use in degrading chlorinated solvents to environmentally suitable application in soils, sediment, and groundwater.
Word origin: methano- (methane) + –troph (nutrition)
- Domain: Bacteria
- Phylum: Proteobacteria
- Class: Alphaproteobacteria/Gammaproteobacteria
- Order: Methylococcales
- Family: Methylococcaceae
- Group: Methanotroph
1 Methanotroph. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved from ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanotroph.