A team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have demonstrated that the methane producing microorganism Methanosaeta is able to produce methane from carbon dioxide in partnership with another microorganism Geobacter. In order to do this electrons are transferred from Geobacter to Methanosaeta via microbial nanowires produced by Geobacter. Discovery of this form of electron transfer, referred to as direct interspecies electron transfer or DIET adds to our knowledge of how electron exchange occurs in methane producing microbial ecosystems.
This discovery will enable scientists to better understand biological methane production which plays a key role in global climate change and is also a valuable source of renewable energy.
Research Fellow and Lecturer in Bioenergy
Sustainable Environment Research Centre
University of South Wales.