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The microbial methane cycle

Authors


E-mail j.c.murrell@warwick.ac.uk; Tel. (+44) 2476 523553; Fax (+44) 2476 523568.

Summary

This special issue highlights several recent discoveries in the microbial methane cycle, including the diversity and activity of methanotrophic bacteria in special habitats, distribution and contribution of the newly discovered Verrucomicrobia, metabolism of methane and related one-carbon compounds such as methanol and methylamine in freshwater and marine environments, methanol and methane-dependent nitrate reduction, the relationships of methane cycle microorganisms with plants and animals, and the environmental factors that regulate microbial processes of the methane cycle. These articles also highlight the plethora of new organisms and metabolism relating to the methane cycle that have been discovered in recent years and outline the many questions in the methane cycle that still need to be addressed. It is clear that despite a tremendous amount of research on the biology of the methane cycle, the microbes involved in catalysing methane production and consumption harbour many secrets that need to be disclosed in order for us to fully understand how the biogeochemical methane cycle is regulated in the environment, and for us to make future predictions about the global sources and sinks of methane and how anthropogenic changes impact on the cycling of this important greenhouse gas.

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