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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Formate metabolism in methanogenic archaea
Abstract: Methanogenic archaea (methanogens) are responsible for producing most of the methane found on Earth and are essential for efficient remineralization of organic carbon in anoxic environments. Most methanogens are thought to specialize in the use of hydrogen as an electron donor for growth, but many are additionally capable of using formate. In natural and industrial settings, methanogens are often found growing with partner organisms in syntrophy (Gr. – eating together) where the partner organism provides hydrogen or formate for methanogenesis. However, it is unclear whether one substrate is preferred or if substrate preference can impact rates of methanogenesis. Here, I will discuss how we use genetic and biochemical techniques to understand formate metabolism in methanogens across scales, from enzyme to community levels.
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