From cells of the hyperthermophilic Methanopyrus kandleri, a novel uns
aturated core ether lipid was isolated. By UV-, IR-, Mass- and C-13 NM
R-spectroscopy it was identified as 2,3-di-O-geranylgeranyl-sn-glycero
l. In addition, the cells contain geranylgeraniol. Under the view of e
volution, the presence of a terpenoid lipid is a rather primitive feat
ure. This is in line with the deep short lineage of Methanopyrus withi
n the 16S rRNA-based phylogenetic tree.