The Unique Chemical Formats and Biosynthetic Pathways of Methanogenic Surfaces

  • Helmut König
  • Evamarie Hartmann
  • Günther Bröckl
  • Uwe Kärcher
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 252)


The third domain of life, the archaea (Woese et al., 1990), is divided into two main lineages: the methanogenic branch (euryarchaeota) and the branch of extreme thermophilic sulfur metabolizing bacteria (crenarchaeota). The methanogens were not only the first archaea detected by microbiologists, but they also represent the largest group within the archaeal domain. A common feature, which distinguishes the methanogens from all other procaryotes, is the production of methane (Balch et al., 1979). Sequence analysis of their 16S rRNA and other biochemical and molecular features show that methanogens are not a phylogenetically homogeneous group. They do not possess a common cell wall polymer, but rather diverse cell envelope types are found (Table 1; Kandler and König, 1985; König, 1988). All methanogens lack murein, the common eubacterial cell wall polymer.


Cell Wall Polymer Glutamic Acid Residue Glycan Chain Methanosarcina Barkeri Halobacterium Salinarium 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut König
    • 1
  • Evamarie Hartmann
    • 1
  • Günther Bröckl
    • 1
  • Uwe Kärcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied MicrobiologyUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

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