When it comes to fixing carbon, plants have nothing on soil bacteria that can do it 20 times faster. The secret is an enzyme that “juggles” reaction ingredients. Scientists hope to optimize this process for producing fuels, antibiotics and other products from CO2.
Phosphorus is a building block of all living cells. Most phosphorous occurs in the form of phosphate, but ancient oceans and soils also contained another form, phosphite. Microbes gain energy by converting phosphite to phosphate via phosphorous reduction-oxidation (redox) cycling. A new study suggests that the ability to use phosphite in energy metabolism is surprisingly widespread in nature.
Researchers generated genome sequences for nearly 600 green millet plants and released a very high-quality reference S. viridis genome sequence Analysis of these plant genome sequences also led them to identify for the first time in wild populations a gene related to seed dispersal.