Patt et al. 1976
Methylobacteria is a genus of Rhizobiales.
As well as its normal habitats in soil and water, Methylobacterium has also been identified as a contaminant of DNA extraction kit reagents, which may lead to its erroneous appearance in microbiota or metagenomic datasets. In March 2021, a related new unknown species, tentatively named Methylobacterium ajmalii, associated with three new strains, designated IF7SW-B2T, IIF1SW-B5, and IIF4SW-B5, were reported to have been discovered, for the first time, on the International Space Station.
Natural genetic transformation in bacteria is a process involving transfer of DNA from one cell to another through the intervening medium, and the integration of the donor sequence into the recipient genome by homologous recombination. Methylobacterium organophilum cells are able to undergo genetic transformation and become competent for DNA uptake near the end of the exponential growth phase.
One species, found on a HEPA filter in the station’s life-support system, was a garden-variety (literally!) Methylobacterium rhodesianum. But three samples—from a surface near the materials research rack, a wall near the “cupola” of windows, and the astronauts' dining table—were something new.