Acidic peatlands are among the largest natural sources of atmospheric methane and harbour a large diversity of methanogenic Archaea. Despite the ubiquity of methanogens in these peatlands, indigenous methanogens capable of growth at acidic pH values have resisted culture and isolation; these recalcitrant methanogens include members of an uncultured family-level clade in the Methanomicrobiales prevalent in many acidic peat bogs in the Northern Hemisphere. However, we recently succeeded in obtaining a mixed enrichment culture of a member of this clade. Here we describe its isolation and initial characterization. We demonstrate that the optimum pH for methanogenesis by this organism is lower than that of any previously described methanogen.
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