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Friday, September 21, 2018

MAPS Researchers awarded NSF Earth Sciences Award to study Biochemical Drivers of IETs from iron reducers to methanogens

Matthew Kirk and Lydia Zeglin
     Two Kansas State University (KSU) researcher team members working on the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant and Soil Systems across Kansas (MAPS) project have received a NSF Earth Science award to explore Biogeochemical drivers of interspecies electron transfer from iron reducers to methanogens. Through this study, Matthew Kirk, Assistant Professor of Geology at KSU and a memeber of the MAPS soils focus group, and Lydia Zeglin, Assistant Professor of Biology at KSU and and a member of the MAPS aquatic focus group, will “1) identify environmental drivers that push interactions of methanogens and iron reducers between competition and interspecies electron transfer (IET), determine how changes in interactions between methanogens and iron reducers affect methane generation, and 3) evaluate the coupled role of enzyme properties and environmental chemistry in determining the nature of interactions.”  To address each of these goals the researchers “will integrate the results of bioreactor experiments with dynamic enzyme modeling.” The findings of the study “will create a roadmap for evaluating the environmental significance of IET between iron reducers and methanogens by defining an environmental context for this interaction,” as well as provide tools to better understand “the ecological underpinnings of the global methane cycle.”

For more details and information on this award go to: NSF EAR: #1753436
(Quotes in the article taken directly from the NSF EAR: #1753436 award abstract)