Applications of a colorimetric plate assay for soluble methane monooxygenase activity

D. W. Graham, D. G. Korich, R. P. LeBlanc, N. A. Sinclair, R. G. Arnold

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89 Scopus citations


A straightforward method is described for screening methanotrophic colonies for soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) activity on solid media. Such activity results in the development of a colored complex between 1- naphthol, which is formed when sMMO reacts with naphthalene, and o- dianisidine (tetrazotized). Methanotrophic colonies expressing sMMO turned deep purple when exposed successively to naphthalene and o-dianisidine. The method was evaluated within the contexts of two potential applications. The first was for the enumeration of Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b in a methane-amended, unsaturated soil column dedicated to vinyl chloride treatment. The second application was for the isolation and enumeration of sMMO-bearing methanotrophs from sanitary landfill soils. The technique was effective in both applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2231-2236
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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