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Current Affairs

Climate friendly microbes

Date: 24 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Scientists have identified a group of microbes living in geothermal systems that break decaying plants without emitting methane.

 

Background

 Methane is a high potential greenhouse gas that is emitted during biodegradation process. Controlling emission of methane has been a major challenge.

 

Details

  • The new microbe group has been named Brockarchaeota and can only be found in extreme environments such as hot springs.

  • Brockarchaeota have not yet been grown in laboratories but their genome is constructed using the bits of genetic materials collected in hot springs.

  • The study of the genes indicated that the new organism consumes nutrients, produces energy and also waste.

  • The Brockarchaeota are part of an organism known as archaea. These organisms were thought to emit methane by breaking down plants and other organic matter.

  • The new method of breakdown was the reason behind large reserves of organic carbon in marine areas.