Bacterial utilize manganese oxidation for energy

Scientist from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) published in Nature (2020, Vol. 583, p 453 -458) demonstrated first that Manganese, one of the most abundant elements on Earth, can be used as an energy source to exhibit exponential growth of chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms (converts carbon dioxide into biomass). The growth resulted in the generation of small nodules of manganese oxide. The majority member of the culture—which we designate ‘Candidatus Manganitrophus noduliformans’—is affiliated to the phylum Nitrospirae (also known as Nitrospirota). Transcriptomic analysis revealed candidate pathways for coupling extracellular manganese oxidation to aerobic energy conservation and autotrophic CO2 fixation. These findings expand the known diversity of inorganic metabolisms that support life and complete a biogeochemical energy cycle for manganese. The team coated a glass jar with a slurry of MnCO3 and allowed it to dry, before filling it with municipal tap water from Pasadena and leaving it to incubate at room temperature. After several months, the cream-colored carbonate coating had oxidized to a dark manganese oxide. The researchers that the discovery could help to understand manganese nodules ( large metallic balls which can reach the size of a grapefruit and are often found on the seafloor). The balls, which often contain rare metals, are sometimes harvested from the ocean floor, but little is understood about them. The discovery from Caltech fills a major intellectual gap in our understanding of Earth's elemental cycles and adds to the diverse ways in which manganese, has shaped the evolution of life on our planet. @

 Bacterial chemolithoautotrophy via manganese oxidation
Bacterial chemolithoautotrophy via manganese oxidation

A co-culture of two newly identified microorganisms—‘Candidatus Manganitrophus noduliformans’ and Ramlibacter lithotrophicus—exhibits exponential growth that…

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