Living on air: how do bacteria scavenge atmospheric trace gases?

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

This project aims to determine the molecular and cellular basis of atmospheric trace gas oxidation by bacteria. Environmental bacteria have a remarkable ability to adapt to resource limitation and environmental change by entering dormant states. Our research has shown they survive in this state by using atmospheric hydrogen and carbon monoxide as energy sources. This interdisciplinary project will determine how bacteria achieve this by elucidating the regulation, mechanism, and integration of the three uncharacterised enzymes that mediate this process. Outcomes and benefits include understanding of the processes that facilitate bacterial persistence, regulate atmospheric composition, and in turn support resilience of natural ecosystems.
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/22


  • mycobacterium
  • trace gases
  • hydrogenase
  • carbon monoxide
  • hydrogen