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Methanosarcina barkeri Schnellen


Product category
Product type
Strain designation
227 [DSM 1538]
Type strain
Isolation source
Sewage sludge digester
Geographical isolation
United States; California; Berkeley
Product format
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Detailed product information


Specific applications


Extremophile type
Acetate fermentation

Handling information

80% H2, 20% CO2
Handling procedure
1.       Sterilize the top of the Hungate test tube with 70% ethanol.

2.       Exchange gas in the Hungate test tube for 80% H2 - 20% CO2.  Do not pressurize above 5psi.

3.       If the medium is oxidized (see discussion about resazurin below) all 0.1 ml of reducing agent (see above) to the medium and let the medium sit for at least 30 minutes before inoculating.

4.       When the Hungate test tube is ready to be inoculated, place the frozen vial under a stream of oxygen free gas and thaw at room temperature.

5.       Using a syringe in which the dead space has been filled with an anaerobic gas mixture or reducing agent (see below), withdraw the cell suspension from vial and transfer to a single tube (5 to 6 ml) of the recommended broth.

6.       Use several drops of the suspension to inoculate a #260 Tryptic Soy Agar (BD 236950) with 5% Defibrinated Sheep Blood agar plate to be incubated aerobically to check for aerobic contamination

7.       While wearing safety glasses, increase the pressure of the 80% H2 - 20% CO2 gas to 20 psi.  Incubate the tubes and plate at 37oC for 4 to 7 days.


a.  Balch tube refers to a special type of test tube that is designed to be pressurized and is suited for anaerobic work.  The Balch test tubes can be purchased from Bellco Glass (; stock no. 2048-00150).

b.  Resazurin is a commonly used redox indicator that is pink when the redox potential is above –50 mv., and colorless when the redox potential is below –110 mv. i.e. highly reducing.  Most strict anaerobes require this low redox potential for optimum growth.

c.   To obtain a fully reduced medium, it is necessary that the medium be anoxic and that a reducing agent be added.  Common reducing agents are sodium sulfide, cysteine, dithiothreitol, and titanium citrate.

Handling notes
Within 4 to 7 days, growth should be evident by turbidity that settles to the bottom of the test tube.

Using the syringe transfer method, you must make the transfer as quickly as possible.  Sometimes during transfer, the medium will oxidize and turn pink (due to resazurin), however it may reduce itself back to the clear broth color during incubation.  If the color does not change back, anaerobic conditions were not met and the culture will not grow.

          Additional information on this culture is available on the ATCC® web site at

Photomicrograph 1000X


Deposited as
Methanosarcina barkeri Schnellen
MR Smith
Chain of custody
ATCC <-- MR Smith <-- R.A. Mah

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.


Frequently Asked Questions


Curated Citations

Mah RA, et al. Studies on an acetate-fermenting strain of Methanosarcina. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 35: 1174-1184, 1978. PubMed: 677880

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