Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Many Microorganisms have Ability to Combat Nitrous Oxide

Published: Friday, November 23, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, November 23, 2012
Bookmark and Share
University of Tennessee study shows unexpected microbes fighting harmful greenhouse gas.

The environment has a more formidable opponent than carbon dioxide. Another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, is 300 times more potent and also destroys the ozone layer each time it is released into the atmosphere through agricultural practices, sewage treatment, and fossil fuel combustion.

Luckily, nature has a larger army than previously thought combating this greenhouse gas—according to a study by Frank Loeffler, University of Tennessee, Knoxville–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Microbiology, and his colleagues.

The findings are published in the November 12 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists have long known about naturally occurring microorganisms called denitrifiers, which fight nitrous oxide by transforming it into harmless nitrogen gas. Loeffler and his team have now discovered that this ability also exists in many other groups of microorganisms, all of which consume nitrous oxide and potentially mitigate emissions.

The research team screened available microbial genomes encoding the enzyme systems that catalyze the reduction of the nitrous oxide to harmless nitrogen gas.

They discovered an unexpected broad distribution of this class of enzymes across different groups of microbes with the power to transform nitrous oxide to innocuous nitrogen gas. Within these groups, the enzymes were related yet evolutionarily distinct from those of the known denitrifiers. Microbes with this capability can be found in most, if not all, soils and sediments, indicating that a much larger microbial army contributes to nitrous oxide consumption.

“Before we did this study, there was an inconsistency in nitrous oxide emission predictions based on the known processes contributing to nitrous oxide consumption, suggesting the existence of an unaccounted nitrous oxide sink,” said Loeffler. “The new findings potentially reconcile this discrepancy.”

According to Loeffler, the discovery of this microbial diversity and its contributions to nitrous oxide consumption will allow the scientific community to advance its understanding of the ecological controls on global nitrous oxide emissions and to refine greenhouse gas cycle models.

“This will allow us to better describe and predict the consequences of human activities on ozone layer destruction and global warming,” said Loeffler. “Our results imply that the analysis of the typical denitrifier populations provides an incomplete picture and is insufficient to account for or accurately predict the true nitrous oxide emissions.”

Loeffler collaborated with researchers from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign; the Georgia Institute of Technology; the US Department of Agriculture in Urbana, Ill.; the University of Puerto Rico; and the National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management in Pune, India.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Glowing Crops Could Minimise Pesticide Use
Farmers may one day be able to target pesticides to only those parts of their fields that are at risk of disease simply by noting which ones are glowing
Monday, July 12, 2010
arGentis Acquires Rights to Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy Entering Phase I Clinical Trial
First clinical trial of orally-administered altered peptide ligand therapeutic.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Scientific News
AACR 2016: Cancer Immunotherapy and Beyond
At this year's meeting there was a palpable buzz around subjects ranging from microbiomics to the tumor microenvironment and cancer vaccines, big data to in vitro and in vivo modeling and drug delivery (to name just a few).
How Skeletal Stem Cells Form The Blueprint Of The Face
USC researchers discover that two types of molecular signals work to control where and when stem cells turn into facial cartilage.
Intestinal Worms Boost Immune System In A Surprising Way
EPFL researchers find that intestinal worm infections cause lymph nodes to produce more immune cells as well as grow in size.
Measuring The Airborne Toxicants Urban Bicyclists Inhale
Researchers analyze breath biomarkers to measure uptake of volatile organic compounds by bicyclists.
Breast Milk Hormones Impact Bacteria In Infants’ Guts
Intestinal microbiome of children born to obese mothers significantly different from those born to mothers of healthy weight, CU Anschutz researchers find.
Newborn Screening Test Developed For Rare, Deadly Neurological Disorder
Scientists have developed a new dried blood spot screening test for Niemann-Pick type C, with goal to speed diagnosis and treatment.
'Kidney on a Chip' Facilitates Safer Drug Dosing
University of Michigan researchers have used a "kidney on a chip" device to mimic the flow of medication through human kidneys and measure its effect on kidney cells.
New Autism Blood Biomarker Identified
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a blood biomarker that may aid in earlier diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD.
New Method Allows First Look At Embryo Implantation
Researchers at The Rockefeller University develop a method that shows the molecular and cellular processes that occur up to day 14 after fertilization.
Shining A Light On Bladder Cancer
Researchers scrutinize patterns of mutations in bladder tumor genomes, gleaning insights into the roles of DNA repair and tobacco-related DNA damage.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!