On May 23rd, we were very happy to host Florin Musat from the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, who gave a great talk about Candidatus Argoarchaeum ethanivorans. Not only did we hear a fantastic overview of his latest Nature paper on this topic, but we also got exciting insights about unpublished and upcoming work in his lab on this very exciting topic. What a treat! Read Florin’s blog @nature with details behind the paper, you’ll also find some amazing images of these unusual microorganisms.
Paola Palacios is now a freshly minted Ph.D., and my 1st graduate student getting a doctorate. She did a great job at her defense in front of a large audience, and a committee formed by Prof. Ronnie Glud (SDU, DK), Assistant Professor Jo Philips (AU, DK) and Senior Scientist Florin Musat (UFZ, DE). Congratulations Dr. Paola! Paola is continuing as a postdoc. She is getting some of the Ph.D. manuscripts ready for publication and preparing a grant application. We wish you lots of success now and for the future!
Mon’s first 1st author paper just got accepted in a special Frontiers topic: “Biological Methanation or (Bio/Syn)-Gas Upgrading” by Frontiers in Energy Research. We are really to see this paper soon in print. The paper is the first test of electroactivity in Methanosarcina species. Yee, M. O., Snoeyenbos-West, O. L., Thamdrup, B., Ottosen, L. D., & Rotaru, A. E. (2019). Extracellular electron uptake by two Methanosarcina species. Frontiers in Energy Research. doi: 10.3389/fenrg.2019.00029 Moreover, the work is part of a collaborative grant with AU-Engineering, A/Prof. Lars Ottosen. The final goal is to apply the electric properties of microorganisms (e.g. Methanosarcina) in real life…
Paola’s second preprint is about an urban lake methanogenic community corroding iron. Jaramillo, P. A. P., & Rotaru, A. E. (2019). Lifeless Clostridia stimulate methanogenesis on Fe0 in an urban lake corrosive community. bioRxiv, 556704 We observed that dead Clostridium stimulate the growth of methanogens, however not as previously assumed via acetate-transfer. CO2-reductive methanogens were stimulated by the Clostridium [FeFe]-hydrogenases (abundant in their genomes) released after the collapse of the acetogens. Clostridia genome-screening indicated they are the N2-fixers (a process that is very energy intensive), thus their collapse releases readily fixed N2 for the methanogens to use, reducing the energy expenses for the later.
On the 28th of February, Paola submitted her Ph.D. thesis, which includes 6 manuscripts (3 already submitted). Very curious to hear what the committee thinks about Paola’s work. Wishing her best of luck, it’s been fantastic working together. Hope we will continue working together for a bit longer after her defense. Picture link: https://www.swri.org/industries/corrosion-science-process-engineering