The chemical biology of methanogenesis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two distinct pathways account for most of the CH4 produced in the majority of the diverse and vast anaerobic environments of Earth's biosphere by microbes that are classified in the Archaea domain of life: conversion of the methyl group of acetate to CH4 in the aceticlastic pathway and reduction of CO2 with electrons derived from H2, formate or CO in the CO2 reduction pathway. Minor, albeit ecologically important, amounts of CH4 are produced by conversion of methylotrophic substrates methanol, methylamines and methyl sulfides. Although all pathways have terminal steps in common, they deviate in the initial steps leading to CH4 and mechanisms for synthesizing ATP for growth. Hydrogen gas is the major reductant for CO2-reducing methanogens in the deep subsurface, although H2 is also utilized by CO 2-reducing microbes from the Bacteria domain that produce acetate for the aceticlastic methanogens. This review presents fundamentals of the two major CH4-producing pathways with a focus on understanding the potential for biologically-produced CH4 on Mars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1775-1783
Number of pages9
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Volume58
Issue number14-15
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

Fingerprint

methanogenesis
microorganisms
biology
acetates
acetate
biosphere
adenosine triphosphate
formates
mars
bacteria
methanol
sulfides
Mars
methyl alcohol
sulfide
hydrogen
substrate
electron
bacterium
gases

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

@article{c61d5f6e77ea497dbe9f59d2a358bd76,
title = "The chemical biology of methanogenesis",
abstract = "Two distinct pathways account for most of the CH4 produced in the majority of the diverse and vast anaerobic environments of Earth's biosphere by microbes that are classified in the Archaea domain of life: conversion of the methyl group of acetate to CH4 in the aceticlastic pathway and reduction of CO2 with electrons derived from H2, formate or CO in the CO2 reduction pathway. Minor, albeit ecologically important, amounts of CH4 are produced by conversion of methylotrophic substrates methanol, methylamines and methyl sulfides. Although all pathways have terminal steps in common, they deviate in the initial steps leading to CH4 and mechanisms for synthesizing ATP for growth. Hydrogen gas is the major reductant for CO2-reducing methanogens in the deep subsurface, although H2 is also utilized by CO 2-reducing microbes from the Bacteria domain that produce acetate for the aceticlastic methanogens. This review presents fundamentals of the two major CH4-producing pathways with a focus on understanding the potential for biologically-produced CH4 on Mars.",
author = "Ferry, {James Gregory}",
year = "2010",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.pss.2010.08.014",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "58",
pages = "1775--1783",
journal = "Planetary and Space Science",
issn = "0032-0633",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "14-15",

}

The chemical biology of methanogenesis. / Ferry, James Gregory.

In: Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 58, No. 14-15, 01.12.2010, p. 1775-1783.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - The chemical biology of methanogenesis

AU - Ferry, James Gregory

PY - 2010/12/1

Y1 - 2010/12/1

N2 - Two distinct pathways account for most of the CH4 produced in the majority of the diverse and vast anaerobic environments of Earth's biosphere by microbes that are classified in the Archaea domain of life: conversion of the methyl group of acetate to CH4 in the aceticlastic pathway and reduction of CO2 with electrons derived from H2, formate or CO in the CO2 reduction pathway. Minor, albeit ecologically important, amounts of CH4 are produced by conversion of methylotrophic substrates methanol, methylamines and methyl sulfides. Although all pathways have terminal steps in common, they deviate in the initial steps leading to CH4 and mechanisms for synthesizing ATP for growth. Hydrogen gas is the major reductant for CO2-reducing methanogens in the deep subsurface, although H2 is also utilized by CO 2-reducing microbes from the Bacteria domain that produce acetate for the aceticlastic methanogens. This review presents fundamentals of the two major CH4-producing pathways with a focus on understanding the potential for biologically-produced CH4 on Mars.

AB - Two distinct pathways account for most of the CH4 produced in the majority of the diverse and vast anaerobic environments of Earth's biosphere by microbes that are classified in the Archaea domain of life: conversion of the methyl group of acetate to CH4 in the aceticlastic pathway and reduction of CO2 with electrons derived from H2, formate or CO in the CO2 reduction pathway. Minor, albeit ecologically important, amounts of CH4 are produced by conversion of methylotrophic substrates methanol, methylamines and methyl sulfides. Although all pathways have terminal steps in common, they deviate in the initial steps leading to CH4 and mechanisms for synthesizing ATP for growth. Hydrogen gas is the major reductant for CO2-reducing methanogens in the deep subsurface, although H2 is also utilized by CO 2-reducing microbes from the Bacteria domain that produce acetate for the aceticlastic methanogens. This review presents fundamentals of the two major CH4-producing pathways with a focus on understanding the potential for biologically-produced CH4 on Mars.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=78449285923&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=78449285923&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.pss.2010.08.014

DO - 10.1016/j.pss.2010.08.014

M3 - Review article

VL - 58

SP - 1775

EP - 1783

JO - Planetary and Space Science

JF - Planetary and Space Science

SN - 0032-0633

IS - 14-15

ER -