Microbial methane cycling under oxygen depletion

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Beate Kraft


Associate Professor


University of Southern Denmark


DKK 5,000,000




Semper Ardens: Accelerate


Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Aquatic environments are hotspots of microbial methane production. A different group of microbes consumes most of the methane again before it reaches the atmosphere. They depend on oxygen to do this. Human activity drives oxygen loss in these environments. This project will elucidate how oxygen loss affects methane producing and consuming microbes.


Knowledge about the response of the microbial methane cycle to aquatic oxygen loss is essentially lacking. To reliably predict how methane emissions are going to change in the future, we need to understand how factors like oxygen availability control the balance between microbial methane production and consumption.


We will bring environmentally relevant key species of methane producing and consuming microbes into the lab and systematically investigate how sensitive they are to changes in oxygen concentrations, especially how well they adapt when oxygen decreases to very low concentrations. Their response will be studied at enzyme, cell and community level.

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