Cohn's Crenothrix is a filamentous methane oxidizer with an unusual methane monooxygenase

Kilian Stoecker, Bernd Bendinger, Bjö, Schö Ning, H Nielsen, Jeppe Nielsen, Christian Baranyi, Elena Toenshoff, Holger Daims, Michael Wagner
135 years ago Ferdinand Cohn, the founder of bacteriology, microscopically observed a conspicuous filamentous bacterium with a complex life cycle and described it as Crenothrix polyspora. This uncultured bacterium is infamous for mass developments in drinking water systems, but its phylogeny and physiology remained unknown. We show that C. polyspora is a gammaproteobacterium closely related to methanotrophs and capable of oxidizing methane. We discovered that C. polyspora encodes a
more » ... lly very unusual particulate methane monooxygenase whose expression is strongly increased in the presence of methane. Our findings demonstrate a previously unrecognized complexity of the evolutionary history and cell biology of methane-oxidizing bacteria. drinking water methane-oxidizing bacteria