Membrane Lipid from Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Methanogen: a New Macrocyclic Glycerol Diether

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Science  23 Dec 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4630, pp. 1329-1331
DOI: 10.1126/science.222.4630.1329


The membrane lipid of a new deep-sea hydrothermal vent methanogen, Methanococcus jannaschii, has been structurally characterized. The hydrolyzed polar lipid of this archaebacterium is primarily (95 percent) a macrocyclic glycerol diether, which has not been described previously. The structure was elucidated by a combination of chemical and spectroscopic techniques. An initial survey of selected methanogens failed to indicate the presence of this membrane lipid in any microorganism other than Methanococcus jannaschii.