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Methanogens response to hydrogen

Trainee Achievements

Methanogens response to hydrogen

Hydrogen (H2) is a crucial substrate for methanogenic microorganisms as well as a common source of electrons (energy) for other microbes in both anaerobic and aerobic environments. It has been hypothesized that motile microorganisms are capable of taxis toward H2, but this had yet to be directly observed. Through the use of a modified capillary assay, IGERT trainees James Connolly and Kristen Brileya have shown that the swimming velocity of a methanogen (Methanococcus maripaludis) increases in response to a H2 source. The observed hydrogenotaxis could represent a widespread eco-physiological process important to the survival of methanogens and other hydrogen-utilizing microbes. These students and their IGERT advisors have submitted a manuscript for publication.