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Adaptations of the ATP synthesis machinery in bacteria and archaea to conditions of extreme energy limitation in the deep subsurface (ATP_adapt_low_energy)
Start date: 01 Oct 2014, End date: 10 Feb 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Microbes in the deep sub-seafloor have recently been found to survive under unprecedented conditions of extreme energy limitation. I aim to identify microbes in these deep subsurface communities with central energy metabolism that is adapted to these conditions. A combination of single-cell genomics and metagenomics will be used to identify members of the microbial community adapted to low energy flux by use of Na+-based chemiosmotic ATP synthesis. Following sequencing, genes encoding c subunits of the ATP synthase from the deep subsurface will be synthesized and expressed in E. coli to determine ATP synthase c ring stoichiometry. This project represents a novel approach to microbial ecology and physiology in energy-limited environments with a framework that combines state-of-the-art biogeochemistry, molecular microbial ecology, and biochemistry.
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