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转载:Science报道: 科学家新发现新细菌 有助于生产酒精

已有 4154 次阅读 2007-10-29 19:57 |个人分类:微生物趣闻|文章来源:转载

 作者:刘乐 来源:教育部科技发展中心 发布时间:2007-10-29 16:59:5

     
 
科学家表示在美国黄石的热池中发现的一种新细菌能帮助提高酒精的生产。它们是在Octopus和Mushroom泉以及Green Finger热池中被发现的,这些细菌在温度120-150摄氏度的热水中生长繁盛。
 
以上发现非常罕见,因为这类细菌是光合细菌,它们从阳光获得能量。Penn State大学生物技术、生物化学和分子生物学教授Don Bryant是研究小组负责人,他表示科学家在过去一个世纪里只发现了3个类似的细菌种类。Bryant将结果发表在了《科学》(Science)上。他说:“对于微生物学家而言这是一件大事。”
 
这种细菌可能将被科学家用来制造酒精,以替代汽油燃料。Bryant认为该细菌并非从大气中获得碳,而是通过去除其它细菌产生的废物。这能使其它种类的细菌生长更加迅速。研究小组通过检查Montana州立大学的David Ward收集的细菌DNA信息获得了以上发现,Ward过去数十年一直在研究黄石热泉中的细菌。由于能在高温条件下生存,它们也被称为嗜热菌。
 
Bryant表示他在计算机上详细分析了数以百计的DNA序列。他说:“我们寻找与已知完全不同的基因签名。”在检查了这种被称为Chloracidobacterium termophilum的新细菌DNA后,Bryant接下来必须证明其真的存在。他说:“有时在计算机上发现的虚拟生物是无法发表在Science上的。接下来的一年我们主要致力于分离这些生物,寻找它们的特性,并且证明它们确实可以将光能转化为化学能。关键并非是否得到了这些基因,而在于你如何利用它们。”
 
Bryant最终成功分离了这些细菌。他说:“我们证明了这些生物在光能下可以生长。小组重复在光照和黑暗条件下培养它们,结果是在黑暗条件下其生长速度很缓慢,而在光照下则迅速得多。”

Bacteria Species May Help Ethanol Output

Scientists say a new bacteria species discovered in Yellowstone's thermal pools could improve the use of bacteria to produce ethanol.

Researchers found the bacteria in Octopus and Mushroom springs as well as in Green Finger Pool. The bacteria thrive in hot water, growing best between 120 and 150 degrees.

The discovery is rare because the bacterium is photosynthesizing, meaning it produces energy from sunlight. Scientists have discovered just three similar bacteria species within the past century, according to Don Bryant, a professor of biotechnology, biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University and leader of the research team.

Bryant published the discovery in the July issue of Science.

"Among microbiologists, this would be considered a big deal," Bryant said.

He speculated that the bacteria could be used by researchers who are looking for new ways to use bacteria to produce ethanol, which can be burned like gasoline.

The bacteria, he said, likely obtain carbon not from the atmosphere, but by removing the waste of other bacteria. That could help other types of bacteria grow much more quickly.

"It's really not all that complicated to get a little more bang for your buck," he said.

The researchers discovered the species by examining DNA information gathered by David Ward, a Montana State University researcher who has spent decades investigating the mats of bacteria common in Yellowstone's thermal features. Such bacteria are called thermophilic for their ability to thrive where it's hot.

Bryant said he sifted through hundreds of DNA sequences on a computer.

"We're looking for signatures of genes that are distinctly different than anything that's known," he said.

After examining the DNA of the new bacteria, called Chloracidobacterium termophilum, Bryant then had to prove that the bacterium existed.

"A virtual organism, something that we had found only on a computer, is not something that can be publishable in Science," he said.

"Most of the next year went in to trying to isolate the organism, finding out what properties it had, and demonstrating that it actually can convert light energy into chemical energy. It's not whether you've got some genes, it's how you're using them."

He eventually was able to isolate the bacterium.

"We got the proof that the organism that was growing on light energy," he said. "We grew the organism repeatedly in light and dark. If you grow it in the dark, it grows much more slowly, if at all. If you grow it in light, it grows much faster."

(以上内容来自:http://www.physorg.com/news112637284.html

相关文献见这里,可能想下载全文的朋友有用:

Candidatus Chloracidobacterium thermophilum-An Aerobic Phototrophic Acidobacterium

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