The F420-reducing hydrogenase and the non-F420-reducing hydrogenase (EC 188.8.131.52.) were isolated from a crude extract of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum Marburg. Electron microscopy of the negatively stained F420-reducing hydrogenase revealed that the enzyme is a complex with a diameter of 15.6 nm. It consists of two ring-like, stacked, parallel layers each composed of three major protein masses arranged in rotational symmetry. Each of these masses appeared to be subdivided into smaller protein masses. Electron microscopy of negatively stained samples taken from intermediate steps of the purification process revealed the presence of enzyme particles bound to inside-out membrane vesicles. Linker particles of 10 to 20 kDa which mediate the attachment of the hydrogenase to the cytoplasmic membrane were seen. Immunogold labelling confirmed that the F420-reducing hydrogenase is a membrane-bound enzyme. Electron microscopy of the negatively stained purified non-F420-reducing hydrogenase revealed that the enzyme is composed of three subunits exhibiting different diameters (5, 4, and 2 to 3 nm). According to immunogold labelling experiments, approximately 70% of the non-F420-reducing hydrogenase protein molecules were located at the cell periphery; the remaining 30% were cytoplasmic. No linker particles were observed for this enzyme.