In incubations originated from the sediments of a ferruginous, early Earth analogue lake, we were surprised to discover that the interspecies association between Youngiibacter and Methanothrix was strictly dependent on conductive particles. Here is a link to our paper. The implication of this study is that mineral-syntrophy could be the relic of ancestral associations between protocells splitting metabolic tasks, prior to the evolution of a complex EET-apparatus required for today’s interspecies associations.
Xiaochen Yang, is our new colleague for the next two months. Xiaochen has a PhD from the Danish Technological University and will do his internship on electrochemical systems and fluorescence microscopy techniques. Welcome to the lab, Xiaochen!