How ethane-consuming archaea pick up their favorite dish

Hot vents in the deep sea are home to microbes that feed on ethane. They were discovered recently from scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology. Now the researchers from Bremen succeeded in finding an important component in the microbial conversion of the gas. They were able to decode the structure of the enzyme responsible for the ethane fixation. The structure highlights some common traits with the methane-fixing counterpart, but also revealed the key features for ethane specialization. The results have now been published in the renowned journal Science.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft