A novel pathway producing dimethylsulphide in bacteria is widespread in soil environments

Carrion Fonseca, Ornella, Curson, Andrew, Kumaresan, Deepak, Fu, Y., Lang, A.S., Mercadé, E. and Todd, Jonathan (2015) A novel pathway producing dimethylsulphide in bacteria is widespread in soil environments. Nature Communications, 6. ISSN 2041-1723

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The volatile compound dimethylsulphide (DMS) is important in climate regulation, the sulphur cycle and signalling to higher organisms. Microbial catabolism of the marine osmolyte dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) is thought to be the major biological process generating DMS. Here we report the discovery and characterisation of the first gene for DMSP-independent DMS production in any bacterium. This gene, mddA, encodes a methyltransferase that methylates methanethiol (MeSH) and generates DMS. MddA functions in many taxonomically diverse bacteria including sediment-dwelling pseudomonads, nitrogen-fixing bradyrhizobia and cyanobacteria, and mycobacteria, including the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The mddA gene is present in metagenomes from varied environments, being particularly abundant in soil environments, where it is predicted to occur in up to 76% of bacteria. This novel pathway may significantly contribute to global DMS emissions, especially in terrestrial environments, and could represent a shift from the notion that DMSP is the only significant precursor of DMS.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: dimethylsulphide (dms) ,dimethylsulphoniopropionate (dmsp),methanethiol (mesh),biogeochemical cycling,sulphur cycling,envionmental microbilogy,molecular microbiology,sdg 3 - good health and well-being,sdg 13 - climate action,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Biology
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Resources, Sustainability and Governance (former - to 2018)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Molecular Microbiology
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2015 12:42
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 00:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53251
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7579


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