Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Microbe's Genome Promises Insight Into Earth's Carbon And Sulfur Cycling

Date:
December 24, 2004
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Scientists have sequenced the genome of the microorganism Silicibacter pomeroyi, a member of an abundant group of marine bacteria known to impact the Earth’s ecosystem by releasing and consuming atmospheric gases. This genetic blueprint provides insight into the biochemical pathways the bacterium uses to regulate its release of sulfur and carbon monoxide.

This diagram illustrates how Silicibacter pomeroyi influences climate. One of the compounds that S. pomeroyi releases is dimethyl sulfide gas, which photoxidizes in sunlight to form microscopic sulfate particles. The particles serve as sites for water to condense into cloud droplets. The concentration of these droplets impacts how clouds reflect and absorb radiation, which affects climate.
Credit: National Science Foundation

Arlington, Va. -- Scientists have sequenced the genome of the microorganism Silicibacter pomeroyi, a member of an abundant group of marine bacteria known to impact the Earth’s ecosystem by releasing and consuming atmospheric gases. This genetic blueprint provides insight into the biochemical pathways the bacterium uses to regulate its release of sulfur and carbon monoxide. Atmospheric sulfur serves as a catalyst for cloud formation, in turn, directly affecting the planet’s temperature and energy regulation, while carbon monoxide is a greenhouse gas.

The interdisciplinary research team, led by Mary Ann Moran at the University of Georgia, includes collaborators at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and six universities. Their work appears in the December 16 issue of Nature.

While everyone is aware that bacteria can cause disease, it’s less obvious that these microorganisms play an important part in the global ecosystem. “Having the genome of S. pomeroyi completely sequenced provides an invaluable tool to understand how an ocean bacterium functions and how it affects the Earth’s atmosphere,” says Moran. The knowledge gained from continued study of S. pomeroyi and its genome will be used in the study of related organisms that likewise mediate carbon and sulfur cycling in the ocean. Moran continued, “Admittedly, this is not the only bacterium that influences gas exchange between the ocean and atmosphere, but once we understand how S. pomeroyi functions, we can apply the knowledge to other related marine bacteria.”

The genome, similar in size to that of the more familiar Escherichia coli, is composed of a 4.1 million base pair main chromosome and a 491,000 base pair extra-chromosomal piece of DNA. Early investigation of the genome found 4,283 regions in the genome that are predicted to code for the synthesis of proteins and other cellular machinery.

This work is funded through the Microbial Genome Sequencing Program, a collaborative, interagency effort between NSF and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program supports research projects that sequence genomes from a broad range of microorganisms in order to provide a foundation for understanding how microorganisms function and live, and how they evolve and interact with their environments and other organisms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Microbe's Genome Promises Insight Into Earth's Carbon And Sulfur Cycling." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041217103124.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2004, December 24). Microbe's Genome Promises Insight Into Earth's Carbon And Sulfur Cycling. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041217103124.htm
National Science Foundation. "Microbe's Genome Promises Insight Into Earth's Carbon And Sulfur Cycling." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041217103124.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins