The as-yet-uncultured archaeal lineage Methanoperedenaceae are anaerobic methanotrophs with a key role in mitigating the atmospheric release of methane in freshwater environments. The metabolic diversity of these microorganisms directly links methane with several key biochemical cycles and suggests a remarkable ability of these microorganisms to adapt to diverse environmental conditions.
The overall aims for a potential Honours/MSc project will be to uncover the metabolic diversity of the Methanoperedenaceae and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for these adaptations.
The project will utilise cutting-edge methods to study complex microbial communities including:
- fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH).
The key outcomes of the project will be to:
- Increase the genomic representation of the archaeal family Methanoperedenaceae.
- Identify the metabolic diversity of the family, including syntrophic relationships with other microorganisms.
- Gain insight into the evolutionary processes shaping the metabolic capabilities of the family.
- Elucidate the importance of these microorganisms to global biogeochemical cycles and the Earth’s climate.
Contact the supervisor for more information.