By Carl R. Woese (Eds.)

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2. Methanospirilium hungatei is abundant in mesophilic sewage sludge. 4 μπι and often form filaments several hundred microns in length. Cells have polar, tufted flagella and are sheathed. 6% carbohydrate (Sprott and McKellar, 1980). The cytoplasmic membrane and cell sheath have been isolated and their compositions have been determined (Sprott et aL, 1983). At least four strains have been described (Ferry et aL, 1974; Patel et aL, 1976; Breuil and Patel, 1980a,b). 5. 5. Both strains grow in mineral medium.

Methanomicrobium mobile requires an unidentified substance abundant in rumen fluid or hot water extracts of methanogens (Paynter and Hungate, 1968; Tanner and Wolfe, 1982). Methanosarcina barkeri strain TM-1 requires an unidentified factor (or factors) extracted from digested sewage sludge (Zinder and Mah, 1979). 1. METHANOGENIC BACTERIA 27 C. NITROGEN AND SULFUR SOURCES All methanogens use ammonia and sulfide as nitrogen and sulfur sources. , 1971; Zehnder and Wuhrmann, 1977). , 1982). Thus, there is little ability to use organic nitro­ gen sources among methanogens.

2 μηι in length. An amorphous, adhesive material appears to anchor to the wall of the filament. , 1977a). These tubular structures have a honeycomb appearance in cross section when closely packed in the cytoplasm (Fig. 3). In liquid medium, they allow the dense cell clumps to float in the medium. In addition, a structure of hexagonally packed tubes of unknown function has also been observed in Methanosarcina (Archer and King, 1983). V. Growth Conditions and Nutrition With the description of greater than 20 species of methanogens, several gener­ alities have emerged concerning their nutrition and growth requirements.

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