Hydrogenotroph

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Hydrogenotrophs are organisms that are able to metabolize molecular hydrogen as a source of energy.

An example of hydrogenotrophy is performed by carbon dioxide-reducing organisms[1] which utilize CO2 and H2 to produce methane (CH4) by the following reaction:

  • CO2 + 4H2 → CH4 + 2H2O

Other hydrogenotrophic metabolic pathways include acetogenesis, sulfate reduction, and other hydrogen oxidizing bacteria. Those that metabolize methane are called methanogenic.[2] Hydrogenotrophs belong to a group of organisms known as methanogens, organisms that carry out anaerobic processes that are responsible for the production of methane through carbon dioxide reduction. Methanogens also include a group of organisms called methylotrophs, organisms that can utilize single-carbon molecules or molecules with no carbon-carbon bonds.[3]


Background Information[edit]

Hydrogenotrophic bacteria were first experimented with by NASA in the 1960's in order to find a replenishable food source.[4] Hydrogenotrophic bacteria have been found to have a high protein and carbohydrate content and have been a guiding principle in developing sustainable agricultural methods.[5] Experimentation has revealed that hydrogenotrophic bacteria can convert carbon dioxide into food more rapidly than plants, making them an efficient and sustainable alternative to implement into plant-based high-protein diets and as a substitute in products that use plant extracts and oils.[6]

Hydrogenotrophs are commonly found in the human gut, along with other fermentative bacteria which live in symbiosis with one another.[4] They are also found in soils and in sediments of freshwater and marine ecosystems around the world.[7]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Stams, J.M., and Plugge, C.M. (2010) The microbiology of methanogenesis. In Reay, D., Smith, P., and Van Amstel, A., eds. Methane and Climate Change, 14-26.
  2. ^ Vianna, M.E., Holtgraewe S., Seyfarth, I., Conrads, G., and Horz, H.P. (2008) Quantitative analysis of three hydrogenotrophic microbial groups, methanogenic archaea, sulfate-reducing bacteria, and acetogenic bacteria, within plaque biofilms associated with human periodontal disease. Journal of Bacteriology, 190(10):3779-3785.
  3. ^ Costa, Kyle C; Leigh, John A (2014-10-01). "Metabolic versatility in methanogens". Current Opinion in Biotechnology. Cell and Pathway Engineering. 29: 70–75. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2014.02.012. ISSN 0958-1669.
  4. ^ a b "Retro spacetech microbes revived to make food from CO2". Futures Centre. 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  5. ^ Velrajan, Mahalakshmi; Girish; Senguttuvan, Abirami (2018-12-09). "Exploring the nutritional values of hydrogenotrophic bacteria as space food". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food". Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  7. ^ Gaci, Nadia; Borrel, Guillaume; Tottey, William; O’Toole, Paul William; Brugère, Jean-François (2014-11-21). "Archaea and the human gut: New beginning of an old story". World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 20 (43): 16062–16078. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i43.16062. ISSN 1007-9327. PMC 4239492. PMID 25473158.