Cyanobacteria in water and on land identified as source of methane

ScienceDaily | 1/16/2020 | Staff
katz1234katz1234 (Posted by) Level 3
Methane generation by microorganisms is traditionally considered to take place only under strictly anoxic conditions by microbes of the domain Archaea. This assumption is refuted by the results of the present study led by Dr. Mina Bizic from IGB. The international research team investigated seventeen cyanobacterial species that occur in the sea, freshwater and soil. "Cyanobacteria in surface water are a previously unknown source of methane and we were able to show for the first time that these bacteria produce the greenhouse gas methane during photosynthesis," states Dr. Mina Bizic. To do so, Thomas Klintzsch from Heidelberg University used isotopically labelled carbon to evaluate how methane is formed in the cell during the conversion of light energy into chemical energy.

In laboratory experiments, the team compared the amount of methane produced by Cyanobacteria with the amounts produced by methanogenic archaea and organisms with cell nuclei (eukaryotes). "Cyanobacteria produce less methane than archaea, but more methane than eukaryotes. It is difficult to estimate the global amount of methane produced by Cyanobacteria because there is a severe...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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