Mechanisms of extracellular electron transfer in anaerobic methanotrophic archaea

Heleen T. Ouboter, Rob Mesman, Tom Sleutels, Jelle Postma, Martijn Wissink, Mike S.M. Jetten, Annemiek Ter Heijne, Tom Berben, Cornelia U. Welte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea are environmentally important, uncultivated microorganisms that oxidize the potent greenhouse gas methane. During methane oxidation, ANME archaea engage in extracellular electron transfer (EET) with other microbes, metal oxides, and electrodes through unclear mechanisms. Here, we cultivate ANME-2d archaea (‘Ca. Methanoperedens’) in bioelectrochemical systems and observe strong methane-dependent current (91–93% of total current) associated with high enrichment of ‘Ca. Methanoperedens’ on the anode (up to 82% of the community), as determined by metagenomics and transmission electron microscopy. Electrochemical and metatranscriptomic analyses suggest that the EET mechanism is similar at various electrode potentials, with the possible involvement of an uncharacterized short-range electron transport protein complex and OmcZ nanowires.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1477
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2024


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