Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 2:30pm
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Geological Museum, Haller Hall, Room 102, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Living with Low Energy Supply - The Efficient Carbon Assimilation of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea

Speaker: Martin Könneke [Sr. Scientist, MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany]
Title:  Living with low energy supply - The efficient carbon assimilation of ammonia-oxidizing archaea
Hosted by: Girguis lab (OEB)

Marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) of the phylum Thaumarchaeota are one of the most abundant pelagic microbes in the ocean and play a significant role in the marine nitrogen and carbon cycles. They live chemolithoautotrophically by oxidizing ammonia at extremely low concentrations and fixing CO2 as major carbon source. The biochemical characterization of the autotrophic hydroxypropionate/ hydroxybutyrate cycle operating in AOA revealed that this pathway represents the most energy-efficient mechanism to fix CO2 in the presence of oxygen. Such an economical catabolism compensates the permanently low supply of energy and enables AOA to thrive in extremely nutrient-limited environments, typical of most of the open ocean.

Contact Name: 

Beate Kraft

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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