Methylacidiphilum infernorum

Methylacidiphilum infernorum is an extremely acidophilic methanotrophic aerobic bacteria first isolated and described in 2007 growing on soil and sediment on Hell’s Gate, New Zealand.[1][2][3] Similar organisms have also been isolated from geothermal sites on Italy and Russia.

Methylacidiphilum infernorum
Scientific classification
M. infernorum
Binomial name
Methylacidiphilum infernorum
Hou et al. 2008
Type strain
Isolate V4

Methylokorus infernorum Dunfield et al. 2007
Strain V4 Dunfield et al. 2007
Candidatus Methylacidiphilum infernorum Hou et al.

A polyextremophile, these non-motile rods grows optimally at pH between 2.0 and 2.5 and temperature of 60 °C. It is a methanotrophic obligated bacteria that grows at 25% (v/v) of methane in air. It is also very dependent on carbon dioxide concentrations to grow, optimally at 8% (v/v) CO2 in air.[1]

Due to its classification in the phylum Verrucomicrobia and its extreme acidophilic phenotype M. infernorum is unique between all known methanotrophs.[1]



It has a single circular chromosome of 2,287,145 base pairs. Under genome analysis it was found that M. infernorum may use a novel methylotrophic pathway because it encodes methane monooxygenase enzymes but lacks known genetic modules for methanol and formaldehyde oxidation.[1][4]

All the enzymes required for the Calvin Benson Bassham cycle were identify by genetic analysis.[5]


It has been predicted that M. infernorum possess most of the key metabolic pathways for the biosynthesis of all amino acids, nucleotides and cofactors, with the sole exception of the cobalamin cofactor.[5]

Genetic studies have shown that the enzymes it uses in several metabolic pathways differs to the ones used by other methylotrophs like for example in the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids, lipoic acid biosynthesis, urea cycle and in the number and diversity of transporters encoded.[5]

The bacteria is able to counteract extreme acidic environments thanks to the presence of various enzymes like glutamate decarboxylase, glutamate/γ-aminobutyrate antiporter, arginine decarboxylase and an arginine/agmatine antiporter.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Peter D, et al. (2007). "Methane oxidation by an extremely acidophilic bacterium of the phylum Verrucomicrobia". Nature. 450 (7171): 879–882. Bibcode:2007Natur.450..879D. doi:10.1038/nature06411. PMID 18004300. S2CID 4305258.
  2. ^ Noel R. Krieg; Wolfgang Ludwig; William Whitman; Brian P. Hedlund; Bruce J. Paster; James T. Staley; Naomi Ward; Daniel Brown, eds. (2011). Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology: Volume 4: The Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Tenericutes (Mollicutes), Acidobacteria, Fibrobacteres, Fusobacteria, Dictyoglomi, Gemmatimonadetes, Lentisphaerae, Verrucomicrobia, Chlamydiae, and Planctomycetes. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 795–6. ISBN 978-0-387-68572-4.
  3. ^ Malgorzata Pawlowska (22 April 2014). Mitigation of Landfill Gas Emissions. CRC Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-415-63077-1.
  4. ^ Hanson R, Hanson T. (1996). "Methanotrophic bacteria". Microbiol. Rev. 60 (2): 439–471. doi:10.1128/MMBR.60.2.439-471.1996. PMC 239451. PMID 8801441.
  5. ^ a b c d Hou S, et al. (2008). "Complete genome sequence of the extremely acidophilic methanotroph isolate V4, Methylacidiphilum infernorum, a representative of the bacterial phylum Verrucomicrobia". Biol. Direct. 3 (26): 26. doi:10.1186/1745-6150-3-26. PMC 2474590. PMID 18593465.

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