Microbially mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) moderates the input of methane, an important greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere by consuming methane produced in various marine, terrestrial, and subsurface environments. AOM coupled to sulfate reduction has been most extensively studied because of the abundance of sulfate in marine systems, but electron acceptors otherthan sulfate are more energetically favorable. Phylogenetic trees based on 16S rRNA gene clone libraries derived from microbial communities where AOM occurs show evidence of diverse, methanotrophic archaea (ANME) closely associated with sulfate-reducing bacteria, but these organisms have not yet been isolated as pure cultures. Several biochemical pathways for AOM have been proposed, including reverse methanogenesis, acetogenesis, and methylogenesis, and both culture-dependent and independent techniques have provided some clues to howthese communities function. Still, questions remain regarding the diversity, physiology, and metabolic restrictions of AOM-related organisms.