Chemosynthetic bacteria oxidized manganese

Scientists have discovered bacteria that are able to oxidize manganese and to use the energy of this chemical reaction for fixing carbon dioxide. Two kinds of bacteria in coculture turned a suspension of carbonate of manganese in plaques of oxide of manganese; in their transcriptome found the genes of proteins that carry out biochemical cascades chemosynthesis. Found microorganisms, believe the authors of the article in Nature, can close the natural cycles of manganese and influence the Cycling of other elements.

Autotrophs — organisms that can fix atmospheric carbon and synthesize organic matter from inorganic. The energy for this they charge either from solar light and then are called photoautotrophs, or from chemical reactions of inorganic substances, then they chemolithoautotrophy.

Bacteria that use chemosynthesis for nitrogen, sulphur and iron, known for over a century. Known also a number of microorganisms that oxidize manganese, but why they do it remains unclear. Scientists assumethat such chemical reactions, the microorganisms can obtain energy. However, until now it was not possible to confirm experimentally, and chemoautotrophy growing on manganese environments, was not found.

Jared Leadbetter (Leadbetter, Jared) from the California Institute of technology was lucky — he’s a few months left in the sink dirty dishes with remnants of carbonate of manganese (II), filled with water from the tap. Back in the lab, the researcher discovered that instead of a light suspension of the carbonate of the flask is covered with a dark patina — an oxide of manganese. Ledbetter suggested that the manganese was oxidized bacteria. With a colleague, he transferred the material to the environment with a certain composition, and as a control used a similar sterile environment.

Sterile cups of manganese is not oxidized even after a year, but in the environment with biological material four months later formed a dark manganese oxides. Oxidation required the presence of oxygen occurred at temperatures up to 42 degrees Celsius, preferably at 34-40 degrees, which involves the enzymatic nature of catalysis. The formation of oxides occurred after the addition of antibiotics or pasteurization.

Scientists have studied the coating of oxide of manganese, which produces bacteria. It turned out that it consists of plaques with a diameter of 20-500 µm, dark brown with dark orange vpachivani — and they were a big part of bacteria.

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