Rotaru Lab

University of Southern Denmark


Mads Schou Vammen (directed) and Mon Oo Yee helped to make this video a couple of years ago. Although it was intended for a Johnson & Johnson award (which we never got) I think it gives a fantastic 1-minute overview of my labs’ research vision.

Recent findings

Yee et al. 2018. BioRxiv 

  • first demonstration of electromethanogenesis by Methanosarcina barkeri. However, we learned that not all Methanosarcina capable of DIET can retrieve electrons via elecromethanogenesis from a fixed-potential cathode.  We propose that electromethanogenesis at a set cathode-potential cannot match the redox requirements for each type of electroactive Methanosarcina. On the other hand during DIET, the partner electrogen would modulate its outermembrane cytochrome expression to match the redox requirements of its partner Methanosarcina.

Ueki et al. 2018. mBio 9(4)

  • we learned that the DIET donor partner requires pili whereas pili are not as necessary for the well being of the accepting partner.



Rotaru et al. 2018 mBio 9(3)

  • we hunted for DIET type of associations in the coastal sediments of the Baltic Sea. We learned that Baltic Geobacter-Methanosarcina consortia survived only in the presence of conductive particles, unlike lab-consortia of related cultures species. This conductive particle-dependent consortium produced significant amounts of methane. Conductive particles could increase in coastal areas due to the erosion of land/rocks following excessive agriculture and global warming effects. Conductive particles enable syntrophic associations with enhanced methane-activity. Thus mineral-syntrophy could be a key to enhanced greenhouse gas emissions,  and an unwelcomed positive feedback trigger for global warming.