Methanosphaera stadtmanae

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Methanosphaera stadtmanae


Higher order taxa

Kingdom: Biota Domain: Archaea Phylum: Euryarchaeota Class: Methanobacteria Order: Methanobacteriales Family: Methanobacteriaceae


Genus: Methanosphaera Species: stadtmanae

NCBI: Taxonomy

The Methanosphaera stadtmanae strain DSZM 3091 was isolated by the Deutsche Sammlung von Zellkulturen und Mikroorganismen (DSMZ), located in Braunschweig, Germany. It is important to isolate and sequence the genome of this archaeon as it is the first human archaeal commensal; therefore, it can help researchers gain a better understanding of the role of archael commensals in humans. It was found that M. stadtmanae inhabits the human intestine. These archaea thrive there because methanol is present as a by product of “pectin degradation by Bacteroides species and other anaerobic bacteria” It was found that the M. stadtmanae can be grown on a medium that contains 0.5 g/liter sodium formate and 10% rumen fluid. The process of sequencing M. stadtmanae included extracting and shearing “its total genomic DNA to obtain various shotgun data using 3 kb to 5 kb fractions.” Next, the fragments were cloned into vectors produced by the Invitrogen Co., pCR4-TOPO. Then, the ends of the recombinant plasmids were sequenced using dye terminator chemistry. Also, in order to edit the sequence, part of the Staden software package, GAP4, was used. In fact, about 8.7-fold coverage of the genome was achieved after reconstructing 21,555 sequences.

Genome structure

The M. stadtmanae genome consists of one circular chromosome that contains 1,767,403 basepairs but no plasmids. Also, of all sequenced archaeal genomes, M. stadtmanae has the lowest Guanine+Cytosine (G+C) content 28%. Also, within all the methanogens, the M. stadtmanae has the lowest number of protein-encoding sequences with 1,534 CDS. It is found that the M. stadtmanae’s genome has 40 tRNAs and four rRNA operons, which is the highest number of rRNA operons found in a single genome within the Archaea domain. In fact, “its genome consists of four 1,528-bp insertion elements, which all include either one of three highly homologous CDS, Msp0017, Msp0233, and Msp0471, or a pseudogene, Msp1439.”

Cell structure and metabolism

Describe any interesting features and/or cell structures; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.


How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Application to Biotechnology

Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required


[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.

Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano