The biological production (and oxidation) of methane plays an important role in the carbon cycle and the Earth's climate. Each year, approximately two-thirds of the billion tons of methane are produced by methanogenic archaea through the degradation of acetate. Methane-producing archaea are unable to take carbohydrates, but use hydrogen, carbon dioxide and simple methylated compounds to grow; hence, anabolic pathways become essential for the synthesis of biosynthetic intermediates and biofilms. Efficient carbon assimilation and energy conservation are also involved in the ability of these microorganisms to survive under energy limitation and oxidative stress; however, the regulation mechanisms of cellular processes under optimal and stress conditions are not well understood. For this reason, our team works on these knowledge gaps with our expertise in microbial physiology of oxygen-sensitive microorganisms.
Our experimental approaches and projects have relevance in emerging topics in Ecology, Astrobiology, Exobiology, Biomedicine and Biotechnology!
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