All posts by Amelia Rotaru

Outreach: Methanogens battle against radioactive contamination

Morten Busch wrote a great outreach article about methanogens battling radionuclide contamination, in which our recent publication from Microbial Ecology has been featured.


Busch M. 2018. Extreme microbes battle against radioactive contamination. (Novo Nordisk Foundation)

Holmes, D.E., Orelana, R., Giloteaux, L., Wang,  L.-Y., Shrestha, P., Williams, K., Lovley, D.R., Rotaru, A.-E., 2018. Potential for Methanosarcina to Contribute to Uranium Reduction during Acetate-Promoted Groundwater Bioremediation. Microb. Ecol.

New team member

Daniel Jensen from Aarhus University will do a masters in our lab. The Masters will be under my supervision and that of Lars Ottosen. At SDU, Daniel will work on electrosynthesis and production of valuable chemicals from renewable resources.

Daniel has a BSc from the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University, where he studied motility in cable bacteria. A year ago Daniel started a Master in Bioengineering at the  Department of Engineering at Aarhus University.

Daniel, welcome to our SDU team!



Marburg spotlight on microbiology

On November 23rd, I gave an invited talk for the graduate schools of Microbiology at the Max Planck Institute of Terrestrial Microbiology, the Philips University Marburg and the University of Tuebingen.

It was an excellent meeting covering diverse aspects of microbiology, especially structural and molecular microbiology. It was wonderful to be once again in Marburg.

Here is the flyer for the meeting where you can see the line up of speakers selected by the students for the students: Neu Flyer Spotlight 03.11.2017


Preprint from our lab

We discovered that Baltic Sea consortia rich in Geobacter and Methanosarcina carried out syntrophic acetate oxidation (SAO) mediated by conductive particles. 

It’s a really exciting finding not only because it is of importance to our understanding of the iron the methane cycles but also because:

  1. it raises questions how anthropogenic discharge of conductive particles (from agriculture, forestry etc) affects methane emissions
  2. it can explain the presence of electrogens like Geobacter in the methanogenic zone
  3. it can explain isotope ratios characteristic of CO2 reductive methanogenesis in deep sediment layers where Methanosarcina (an acetoclastic methanogen) is abundant
  4. it is the first detailed description of a conductive particle-mediated SAO in consortia from sediments
  5. it is the first NanoSIMS description of a Geobacter-Methanosarcina consortium

We enjoyed doing the work and hope the scientific community will receive it with excitement.