American scientists from the University of Montana found a solution to a methane paradox, which consists in the appearance of methane in water bodies, where there are no usual metallow-producing bacteria. This is reported in the article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers discovered an anomaly during the collection of data necessary for analyzing the chemical composition of Lake Yellowstone in the Yellowstone National Park, as well as to explore how various microorganisms in the lake are associated with the thermal sources of the National Park. Experts revealed methane, which in the natural environment is made by alive organisms, but in the lake there were no signs of the presence of typical anaerobic microorganisms, which allocate methane in the absence of oxygen.
In the marine and freshwater medium, the oxygen over oxygen CH4 was called by scientists with a methane paradox, since the biological synthesis of methane is considered as strictly anaerobic process carried out by methanogens sensitive to oxygen.
Specialists conducted a metagenomous analysis of DNA isolated from lake water, finding that aerobic bacteria, in particular, acidovorax protectobacteria participated in the process of allocating methane. They managed to identify the gene, which participates in the gas synthesis. He encodes the enzyme aspartaminotransferase (AAT), and scientists have transplanted its Escherichia coli intestinal wand, which under normal conditions is not capable of turning methamine into methane. However, in the presence of AAT gene, it turned out to be possible.
According to scientists, they first discovered evidence of aerobic methane synthesis, which is fundamentally different from anaerobic. Most likely, this happens on the scale of the entire biosphere of the Earth, and not only in the Lake Yellowstone. Since methane is a greenhouse gas that is more efficiently catches heat than carbon dioxide, it is necessary to accurately know the natural sources of this substance and the natural tanks where it is contained.