Century Prophecy is confirmed! Scientists have discovered two kinds of new metal-eating bacteria, large pieces of manganese nodules on the seabed may be related to them
More than a century ago, some people predicted that there is a manganese-eating microorganism in nature, but it has not been discovered until now.
Recently, microbiologist Jared Leadbetter of the California Institute of Technology discovered two types of manganese-eating bacteria and used manganese as their main energy (calories) source. The results of this study were published in the journal Nature.
Manganese is a silver-white metal, hard and brittle, and one of the most abundant elements on earth. It is also a basic element of all known organisms and helps promote human bone growth. When manganese is combined with oxygen, the resulting manganese oxide is black and massive. It is very common in nature. They are commonly found in underground deposits in the soil and seabed, and also in water distribution systems.
In fact, this new discovery came from an accidental opportunity.
Leadbetter discovered this bacterium by accident after carrying out some unrelated experiments using a light chalky manganese metal. Later, Professor Reedbert left the California Institute of Technology for a few months for some reason. Before leaving, he put a glass jar soiled by the experimental substance in the office sink and soaked in tap water, and When he returned, the glass jar was covered with a black substance.
Leadbetter explained:”I started to wonder if it was caused by some microbial activity, so we systematically tested to find out the cause.” After analysis, this black paint The layer is actually manganese oxide produced by a newly discovered bacterial body, which may come from the tap water itself. From this, it can be judged that these organisms mainly live in groundwater.
“These bacteria can be said to be the first bacteria found by humans to use metal manganese as a food source. One of the wonderful things about microorganisms in nature is that they can metabolize what we seem to be impossible. Substances (such as metals) and produce energy that is useful to cells.” Professor Leadbetter said.
Previously, researchers knew that bacteria and fungi could oxidize manganese, or deprive manganese of electrons, but they only speculated that it was not yet determined whether microorganisms might use this process to promote their own growth. But this research shows that bacteria can use manganese to convert carbon dioxide into biomass-a process called chemical synthesis.
At present, these two bacteria are temporarily called noduliformans and Ramlibacter lithotrophicus.
This study may help to understand the origin of giant manganese nodules distributed on some seabeds.
Manganese nodules are a kind of self-produced manganese minerals in the deep seabed, also known as manganese nodules, manganese ore balls, and oceanic polymetallic nodule mines. It is widely distributed on the ocean floor with a depth of 4000-6000 meters in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. It was first discovered by the British”Challenger” survey ship during a global inspection that significant research progress has been made since the 1940s.
According to the survey, the world’s total reserves of seabed manganese nodules are about 3 trillion tons, and the Pacific Ocean alone has 17 trillion tons. Such rich reserves are still growing. The Atlantic Ocean alone is growing by 10 million tons per year. When the relevant minerals on the land are exhausted, manganese nodules have become an inexhaustible treasure.
There is no final conclusion on how manganese nodules are formed. But new research may provide a possibility:they are produced by manganese-eating bacteria.
[Compilation/Prospective Economist APP Information Group]