Science & Technology
Methanotrophic Bacteria for Methane Mitigation
- 13 Mar 2020
- 2 min read
Why in News
Recently, scientists at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune have enriched, isolated and cultivated 45 different strains of methanotrophs (methane-utilising bacteria) and created the first indigenous methanotroph culture.
- ARI is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology.
- Scientists used some of the isolated strains of methanotrophs as bio-inoculants in rice plants.
- They found that there was a decrease in methane emissions in inoculated plants with a positive or neutral effect on the growth of the rice. This finding could lead to the development of microbial inoculants for methane mitigation in rice.
- Methanotrophs metabolise and convert methane into carbon-di-oxide enabling them to reduce methane emissions from rice plants.
- In rice fields, methanotrophs are active near the roots or soil-water interfaces.
- Rice fields are human-made wetlands and are waterlogged for a considerable period.
- Anaerobic degradation of organic matter results in the generation of methane.
- Rice fields contribute to nearly 10% of global methane emissions.
- In microbiology, inoculation is defined as introducing microorganisms into a culture where they can grow and reproduce. More generally, it can also be defined as introducing a certain substance into another substance.
- Bio-inoculants are living organisms containing strains of specific bacteria, fungi, or algae. These are also known as microbial inoculants.
- Methanotrophs can effectively reduce the emission of methane, which is the second most important greenhouse gas (GHG) and 26 times more potent as compared to carbon-di-oxide.
- Native methanotrophs isolated from rice fields can be excellent models to understand the effect of various factors on methane mitigation.
- Besides methane mitigation studies, methanotrophs can also be used in methane value addition (valorization) studies.
- Bio-methane generated from waste can be used by the methanotrophs and can be converted to value-added products such as single-cell proteins, biodiesel, and so on.