U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Genome of Methane-Oxidizing Microbe Sequenced
Published: December 06, 2010
Posted: January 11, 2011

Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 on a per molecule basis although far more CO2 than methane is released into the atmosphere. Methane production and oxidation (usually conversion to methanol) is a common property of many bacteria. To better understand the basis for bacterial methane processing and its potential role in the global greenhouse gas cycle, the genome sequence of a methane-oxidizing microbe, Methylosinus trichosporium, has now been published. This microbe has been used to elucidate the structure and function of several key enzymes that oxidize methane. In particular, the catalytic properties of a soluble methane monooxygenase enzyme from this bacterium have been studied extensively as it is also involved in biodegradation of recalcitrant hydrocarbons, such as trichloroethylene. The sequence of this bacterium's genome should provide insights into both methane processing and organic contaminant degradation. The sequencing was carried out by the DOE Joint Genome Institute as part of its Community Sequencing user Program.

Reference: Stein, L.Y., et.al. December 2010. "Genome Sequence of the Obligate Methanotroph Methylosinus trichosporium Strain OB3b," Journal of Bacteriology, 192, 6497-98.

Contact: Dan Drell, SC-23.2, (301) 903-4742
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Subsurface Biogeochemical Research
  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Research Area: DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI)
  • Research Area: Structural Biology, Biomolecular Characterization and Imaging

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


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