Anaerobic microbial methanol conversion in marine sediments

Peter Q. Fischer*, Irene Sánchez-Andrea, Alfons J.M. Stams, Laura Villanueva, Diana Z. Sousa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Methanol is an ubiquitous compound that plays a role in microbial processes as a carbon and energy source, intermediate in metabolic processes or as end product in fermentation. In anoxic environments, methanol can act as the sole carbon and energy source for several guilds of microorganisms: sulfate-reducing microorganisms, nitrate-reducing microorganisms, acetogens and methanogens. In marine sediments, these guilds compete for methanol as their common substrate, employing different biochemical pathways. In this review, we will give an overview of current knowledge of the various ways in which methanol reaches marine sediments, the ecology of microorganisms capable of utilizing methanol and their metabolism. Furthermore, through a metagenomic analysis, we shed light on the unknown diversity of methanol utilizers in marine sediments which is yet to be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1362
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue number3
Early online date15 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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