Metal-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation in marine sediment: Insights from marine settings and other systems

Lewen Liang, Yinzhao Wang, Orit Sivan, Fengping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) plays a crucial role in controlling global methane emission. This is a microbial process that relies on the reduction of external electron acceptors such as sulfate, nitrate/nitrite, and transient metal ions. In marine settings, the dominant electron acceptor for AOM is sulfate, while other known electron acceptors are transient metal ions such as iron and manganese oxides. Despite the AOM process coupled with sulfate reduction being relatively well characterized, researches on metal-dependent AOM process are few, and no microorganism has to date been identified as being responsible for this reaction in natural marine environments. In this review, geochemical evidences of metal-dependent AOM from sediment cores in various marine environments are summarized. Studies have showed that iron and manganese are reduced in accordance with methane oxidation in seeps or diffusive profiles below the methanogenesis zone. The potential biochemical basis and mechanisms for metal-dependent AOM processes are here presented and discussed. Future research will shed light on the microbes involved in this process and also on the molecular basis of the electron transfer between these microbes and metals in natural marine environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1295
Number of pages9
JournalScience China Life Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • anaerobic methane oxidation
  • archaea
  • electron transfer
  • marine sediment
  • metal-AOM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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