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Academic Report: New insights into the biology of aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria

Topic: New insights into the biology of aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria

Reporter: Dr. Marc G Dumont (University of Southampton, UK)

Time: 10:00, Apr 10th, 2018

Room: 320, School of Geography Science

Research interests:

The goal of Dr. Dumont's research is to understand the role of microbial communities involved in biogeochemical cycling and other important transformations. His primary focus is on methanotrophic bacteria, which are microorganisms that use methane as a sole carbon and energy source. The activity of methanotrophs mitigates the release of methane to the atmosphere and therefore has an important role in controlling greenhouse gas levels. Methanotrophs are active in many environments, including lake sediments, wetlands and upland soils.

Stable isotope probing (SIP) of nucleic acids is a key method that we use in his research group. SIP helps them identify active microorganisms in environmental samples and allows them to capture their DNA and RNA. Combining SIP with ‘omics approaches (metagenomics, metranscriptomics, metaproteomics) can provide insights into the metabolic capabilities and activity of these organisms – many of which are still uncultivated and poorly characterized.

More recently, research in his group has turned to the belowground interaction between plants and microorganisms in the rhizosphere. They use cultivation, high-throughput sequencing and stable isotope probing to reveal associations and functions.