The oxidation of acetate to hydrogen, and the subsequent conversion of hydrogen and carbon dioxide to methane, has been regarded largely as a niche mechanism occurring at high temperatures or under inhibitory conditions. In this study, 13 anaerobic reactors and sediment from a temperate anaerobic lake were surveyed for their dominant methanogenic population by using fluorescent in situ hybridization and for the degree of acetate oxidation relative to aceticlastic conversion by using radiolabeled [2-C-14]acetate in batch incubations. When Methanosaetaceae were not present, acetate oxidation was the dominant methanogenic pathway. Acetielastic conversion was observed only in the presence of Methanosaetaceae.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2006, Vol 72, Issue 7, p. 5138-5141