Eternal flames and gas seeps in New York State harbour natural gas eaters

A recent survey of natural gas seeps in New York State, which are sometimes known as “Eternal Flames,” has shown that nutritionally diverse, facultative methane oxidising bacteria are highly abundant at these environments. The lead author of this study, recently published in Microbiome, Dr Farhan Ul-Haque has shown that the ability to grow on methane and other components of natural gas such as ethane and propane gives the facultative methanotroph Methylocella competitive edge when foraging for growth substrates. A survey of over thirty different habitats exposed to both natural gas, and new methane produced by methanogens in environments such as wetlands, has shown that Methylocella thrive where there is a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons.

For further details see: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-018-0500-x


Earlham institute
Quadram Institute Bioscience
John Innes Centre
The Sainsbury Laboratory
NHS NNUH
University of East Anglia

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