Friday, December 12, 2008


ethylococcus capsulatus. M. capsulatus is a methanotroph, which means it's able to use methane as their sole source of carbon and energy. This is useful as methane is a GHG that is approximately 26 times more problematic on a mole:mole basis than carbon dioxide. M. capsulatus uses methane by oxidizing it in a two step process, first to methanol, then to formaldehyde. The enzyme responsible for the first step of this process is methane monooxygenase (MMO) which comes in two forms, a soluble form (sMMO) and a particulate membrane form (pMMO). Different organisms may carry one or the other, or both (the organism in question, M. capsulatus encodes for both). Multiple labs have spent time studying M. capsulatus in the hopes that it can be exploited for methanol production.

M. capsulatus (Bath) has had its 3.3 Mb genome sequenced. As it's name suggests, M. capsulatus does possess a polysaccharide capsule, perhaps a tool to help it survive long periods of time in arid conditions.

Methylococcus capsulatus

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