Methylomonas methanica, SEM

Methylomonas methanica, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Methylomonas methanica is a Gram-negative, methylotrophic bacterium found in soil or water. Methylotrophic bacteria (methylotrophs) are bacteria capable of growth on single carbon compounds (such as methane, methanol, methylamine, etc.) These compounds act as the sources of carbon and energy to sustain growth. Methylomonas methanica is also a methanotrophic bacterium (methanotroph) since it uses primarily methane as a source of carbon and energy. It primarily lives under aerobic and microaerobic conditions. Under aerobic conditions, it combines oxygen and methane to form formaldehyde, which is then incorporated into organic compounds. Methanotrophs also have a system of internal membranes within which methane oxidation occurs. They are of special interest to researchers studying global warming. Magnification: x2,600 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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