Research report 2013 - Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
Biochemistry of the microbial methane cycle
Thauer, Rudolf Kurt
Emeritus-Gruppe Biochemie der Mikroorganismen
SummaryMethane (CH4) is an important intermediate in the global carbon cycle. Per year about 1 Gt methane is formed from biomass and further oxidized to CO2. The formation of methane involves mainly anaerobic microorganisms, whereas in the oxidation of methane both anaerobic and aerobic microorganisms participate. In the atmosphere, where methane acts as a greenhouse gas, methane is predominantly re-mineralized photochemically. Investigations of the biochemistry of the methane cycle have led over and over again to new discoveries. On two of the most recent discoveries will be reported here.