Assessing the Ecophysiology of Methanogens in the Context of Recent Astrobiological and Planetological Studies

Ruth-Sophie Taubner, Christa Schleper, Maria G Firneis, Simon K-M R Rittmann

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Among all known microbes capable of thriving under extreme and, therefore, potentially extraterrestrial environmental conditions, methanogens from the domain Archaea are intriguing organisms. This is due to their broad metabolic versatility, enormous diversity, and ability to grow under extreme environmental conditions. Several studies revealed that growth conditions of methanogens are compatible with environmental conditions on extraterrestrial bodies throughout the Solar System. Hence, life in the Solar System might not be limited to the classical habitable zone. In this contribution we assess the main ecophysiological characteristics of methanogens and compare these to the environmental conditions of putative habitats in the Solar System, in particular Mars and icy moons. Eventually, we give an outlook on the feasibility and the necessity of future astrobiological studies concerning methanogens.

Seiten (von - bis)1652-1686
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 3 Dez. 2015

ÖFOS 2012

  • 103003 Astronomie
  • 106022 Mikrobiologie