Extreme-living bacteria has genome sequenced

April 17, 2007 | Source: NewScientist.com news service

The bacterium Syntrophus aciditrophicus, one of the most extreme-survival organisms ever discovered, has had its genome sequenced.

The bacterium performs a key part of the global carbon cycle by breaking down fatty acids in organic matter – a very limited diet consumed by almost no other organisms. The genes now discovered making up its genome are providing clues as to how it survives, and might even improve the efficiency by which we can make hydrogen from waste materials, the researchers say.