Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Methanococcus jannaschii (also known as Methanocaldococcus jannaschii), thermophilic, anaerobic, irregular-shaped coccoid archeon (prokaryote). Methanococcus is a genus of methanotrophic archaea (methanogens or methane producers). Methanococcus jannaschii is an extremely hyperthermophilic archeon that produces methane as the end product. It is strictly anaerobic and uses only carbon dioxide as a carbon source. It was the first archaea prokaryote to have its genome fully sequenced. Methanogens are extremely important to anaerobic environments because they convert organic compounds into methane, which then rises into the aerobic environment. By doing so, these organisms provide a pathway for compounds that exist in anaerobic environment to escape into the atmosphere, where it acts as a natural gas resource. Magnification: x3,400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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