An unexpected discovery has given scientists a greater understanding of an important methane-producing enzyme.
A team of IGB researchers published a paper in eLife that outlined their findings on an enzyme called methyl-coenzyme M reductase, or MCR.
Their findings overturn what was previously believed to be true in the field: that a set of unique modifications present in MCR were essential to how the enzyme functions.
Up to 4 percent of the methane on Earth comes from the ocean’s oxygen-rich waters, but scientists have been unable to identify the source of this potent greenhouse gas. Now researchers report that they have found the culprit: a bit of “weird chemistry” practiced by the most abundant microbes on the planet.
The findings appear in the journal Science.