Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

And now, it turns out, some bacteria eat manganese

Share
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Flipboard
Print
Email

Researchers discovered this by accident: when the bacteria left manganese oxide in a dirty lab jar:

Leadbetter knew that scientists had long suspected that bacteria could use manganese to fuel growth. Over a century ago, researchers discovered that bacteria could borrow electrons from chemical elements like nitrogen, sulfur, iron — and manganese. In some cases, bacteria could even use these electrons to fuel growth in much the same way that humans use electrons from carbohydrates in the diet for energy. But no one had identified bacteria that could turn electrons from manganese into energy…

Leadbetter suspects that similar bacteria may also be responsible for grapefruit-sized balls of manganese oxide on the ocean floor, first spotted in the 1870s, that have puzzled scientists. He wants to search there and other places for more examples of bacteria that use manganese for energy.

Carolyn Beans, “Scientists stumbled across the first known manganese-fueled bacteria” at ScienceNews

Paper. (open access)

One wonders, is there any natural element that no life form uses?

Comments
Yeah, but it gives them gas. ;-) Oxides actually. -QQuerius
July 21, 2020
July
07
Jul
21
21
2020
05:55 PM
5
05
55
PM
PST
This is where zinc comes in. Zinc binds to a transport protein that binds to metals like manganese. Once that happens the bacteria starve because that protein can no no longer bind and transport manganese for the bacteria to utilize.ET
July 21, 2020
July
07
Jul
21
21
2020
05:28 PM
5
05
28
PM
PST
We have long known about the biological use of manganese. I don’t see anything new here.Mac McTavish
July 21, 2020
July
07
Jul
21
21
2020
04:12 PM
4
04
12
PM
PST

Leave a Reply