Methanocaldococcus jannaschii

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Methanocaldococcus jannaschii
Scientific classification
M. jannaschii
Binomial name
Methanocaldococcus jannaschii
  • Methanococcus jannaschii (Jones 1983)

Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (formerly Methanococcus jannaschii) is a thermophilic methanogenic archaean in the class Methanococci. It was the first archaeon to have its complete genome sequenced.[1] The sequencing identified many genes unique to the archaea. Many of the synthesis pathways for methanogenic cofactors were worked out biochemically in this organism,[2] as were several other archaeal-specific metabolic pathways.


Methanocaldococcus jannaschii was isolated from a submarine hydrothermal vent at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.[3]


Methanocaldococcus jannaschii was sequenced by a group at TIGR led by Craig Venter[4] using whole-genome shotgun sequencing. Methanocaldococcus jannaschii represented the first member of the Archaea to have its genome sequenced. According to Venter, the unique features of the genome provided strong evidence that there are three domains of life.[4]


Methanocaldoccus jannaschii is a member of the genus Methanocaldococcus (previously a part of Methanococcus) and is therefore sometimes referred to as a "class I" methanogen (e.g. [1]).

Biology and biochemistry[edit]

Methanocaldococcus jannaschii is a thermophilic methanogen, meaning it grows by making methane as a metabolic byproduct. It is only capable of growth on carbon dioxide and hydrogen as primary energy sources, unlike many other methanococci (such as Methanococcus maripalidus) which can also use formate as a primary energy source.[3] The genome includes many hydrogenases, such as a 5,10-methenyltetrahydromethanopterin hydrogenase,[5] a ferredoxin hydrogenase (eha), and a coenzyme F420 hydrogenase.[6]

Proteomic studies showed that M. jannaschii contains a large number of inteins: 19 were discovered by one study.[7]

Many novel metabolic pathways have been worked out in M. jannaschii, including the pathways for synthesis of many methanogenic cofactors,[2] riboflavin,[8] and novel amino acid synthesis pathways.[citation needed] Many information processing pathways have also been studied in this organism, such as an archaeal-specific DNA polymerase family.[9]. Information about single-pass transmembrane proteins from M. jannaschii was compiled in Membranome database.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gao, Yongxiang (November 2013). "Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of MJ0458, an adenylate kinase from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii". Acta Crystallographica Section F. 69: 1272–1274. doi:10.1107/S1744309113026638. PMC 3818051. PMID 24192367.
  • Wang, Yu; Xu, Huimin; White, Robert H. (August 2014). "Beta-alanine biosynthesis in Methanocaldococcus jannaschii". American Society for Microbiology. 196: 2869–2875. doi:10.1128/JB.01784-14. PMC 4135672.
  • Allen, Kyle D.; Xu, Huimin; White, Robert H. (September 2014). "Identification of a unique radical S-adenosylmethionine methylase likely involved in methanopterin biosynthesis in Methanocaldococcus jannaschii" (PDF). Journal of Bacteriology. 196 (18): 3315–3323. doi:10.1128/JB.01903-14. PMC 4135684. PMID 25002541.
  • Lee, Eun Hye; Lee, Kitaik; Hwang, Kwang Yeon (13 December 2013). "Structural characterization and comparison of the large subunits of IPM isomerase and homoaconitase from Methanococcus jannaschii". Acta Crystallographica Section D. 70 (4): 922–931. doi:10.1107/S1399004713033762.


  1. ^ Carol J. Bult, Owen White, Gary J. Olsen, Lixin Zhou, Robert D. Fleischmann, Granger G. Sutton, Judith A. Blake, Lisa M. FitzGerald, Rebecca A. Clayton, Jeannine D. Gocayne, Anthony R. Kerlavage, Brian A. Dougherty, Jean-Francois Tomb, Mark D. Adams, Claudia I. Reich, Ross Overbeek, Ewen F. Kirkness, Keith G. Weinstock, Joseph M. Merrick, Anna Glodek, John L. Scott, Neil S. M. Geoghagen, Janice F. Weidman, Joyce L. Fuhrmann, Dave Nguyen, Teresa R. Utterback, Jenny M. Kelley, Jeremy D. Peterson, Paul W. Sadow, Michael C. Hanna, Matthew D. Cotton, Kevin M. Roberts, Margaret A. Hurst, Brian P. Kaine, Mark Borodovsky, Hans-Peter Klenk, Claire M. Fraser, Hamilton O. Smith, Carl R. Woese & J. Craig Venter (1996). "Complete genome sequence of the methanogenic archaeon, Methanococcus jannaschii". Science. 273 (5278): 1058–1073. Bibcode:1996Sci...273.1058B. doi:10.1126/science.273.5278.1058. PMID 8688087.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Robert H. White (2001). "Biosynthesis of the methanogenic cofactors". Vitamins and Hormones. 61: 299–337. doi:10.1016/s0083-6729(01)61010-0. PMID 11153270.
  3. ^ a b W. J. Jones, J. A. Leigh, F. Mayer, C. R. Woese & R. S. Wolfe (1983). "Methanococcus jannaschii sp. nov., an extremely thermophilic methanogen from a submarine hydrothermal vent". Archives of Microbiology. 136 (4): 254–261. doi:10.1007/BF00425213.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b Nicholas Wade (23 August 1996). "Deep sea yields a clue to life's origin". New York Times.
  5. ^ Erica J. Lyon, Seigo Shima, Gerrit Buurman, Shantanu Chowdhuri, Alfred Batschauer, Klaus Steinbach & Rudolf K. Thauer (January 2004). "UV-A/blue-light inactivation of the 'metal-free' hydrogenase (Hmd) from methanogenic archaea". European Journal of Biochemistry. 271 (1): 195–204. doi:10.1046/j.1432-1033.2003.03920.x. PMID 14686932.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ Rudolf K. Thauer, Anne-Kristin Kaster, Meike Goenrich, Michael Schick, Takeshi Hiromoto & Seigo Shima (2010). "Hydrogenases from methanogenic archaea, nickel, a novel cofactor, and H2 storage". Annual Review of Biochemistry. 79: 507–536. doi:10.1146/annurev.biochem.030508.152103.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ Wenhong Zhu, Claudia I. Reich, Gary J. Olsen, Carol S. Giometti & John R. Yates III (2004). "Shotgun proteomics of Methanococcus jannaschii and insights into methanogenesis". Journal of Proteome Research. 3 (3): 538–548. doi:10.1021/pr034109s. PMID 15253435.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  8. ^ Ilka Haase, Simone Mörtl, Peter Köhler, Adelbert Bacher & Markus Fischer (2003). "Biosynthesis of riboflavin in Archaea: 6,7-dimethyl-8-ribityllumazine synthase of Methanococcus jannaschii". European Journal of Biochemistry. 270 (5): 1025–1032. doi:10.1046/j.1432-1033.2003.03478.x. PMID 12603336.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ Yoshizumi Ishino, Kayoko Komori, Isaac K. O. Cann & Yosuke Koga (1998). "A novel DNA polymerase family found in Archaea". Journal of Bacteriology. 180 (8): 2232–2236. PMC 107154. PMID 9555910.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)

External links[edit]