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Wide diversity of methane and short-chain alkane metabolisms in uncultured archaea

  • Borrel, Guillaume1
  • Adam, Panagiotis S.1, 2
  • McKay, Luke J.3
  • Chen, Lin-Xing4
  • Sierra-García, Isabel Natalia5
  • Sieber, Christian M. K.4, 6
  • Letourneur, Quentin7
  • Ghozlane, Amine7
  • Andersen, Gary L.8
  • Li, Wen-Jun9
  • Hallam, Steven J.10
  • Muyzer, Gerard11
  • de Oliveira, Valéria Maia5
  • Inskeep, William P.12
  • Banfield, Jillian F.4
  • Gribaldo, Simonetta1
  • 1 Institut Pasteur, Department of Microbiology, Unit Evolutionary Biology of the Microbial Cell, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 2 Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 3 Montana State University, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Bozeman, MT, USA , Bozeman (United States)
  • 4 University of California, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Berkeley, CA, USA , Berkeley (United States)
  • 5 Campinas University—UNICAMP, Microbial Resources Division, Research Center for Chemistry, Biology and Agriculture, Campinas, Sao Paolo, Brazil , Campinas, Sao Paolo (Brazil)
  • 6 Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA, USA , Walnut Creek (United States)
  • 7 Institut Pasteur, Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Hub, C3BI, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 8 University of California, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Berkeley, CA, USA , Berkeley (United States)
  • 9 Sun Yat-Sen University, State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou, China , Guangzhou (China)
  • 10 University of British Columbia, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, ECOSCOPE Training Program, Graduate Program in Bioinformatics, and Genome Sciences and Technology Training Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada , Vancouver (Canada)
  • 11 University of Amsterdam, Microbial Systems Ecology, Department of Freshwater and Marine Ecology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands , Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • 12 Montana State University, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Bozeman, MT, USA , Bozeman (United States)
Published Article
Nature Microbiology
Nature Publishing Group UK
Publication Date
Mar 04, 2019
DOI: 10.1038/s41564-019-0363-3
Springer Nature


A search for methyl-coenzyme M reductase complex (MCR) and MCR-like homologues—which govern methane and short-chain alkane metabolism—across publicly available metagenomes reveals that these metabolic pathways are widespread and diverse in archaea, and may in some organisms be linked to alkane and/or fatty acid oxidation.

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