NEW GENUS OF BACTERIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     26th October 2023        

Context: Recently, researchers found a new genus of anaerobic lignocellulose-degrading bacteria in the hot spring of Aravali, located in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.

Sporanaerobium hydrogenoformans

  • Family: Lachnospiraceae family
  • About: This bacterium is renowned for its exceptional polysaccharide degradation capabilities.
  • Lignocellulosic Agricultural Wastes: This bacterium possesses the capacity to break down the structural components of lignocellulosic agricultural residues, namely cellulose and xylan.
  • Optimal Growth Conditions: Thriving under specific conditions, the bacterium exhibits optimal growth at elevated temperatures, ranging from 45–50°C, and an alkaline pH of 8.0.
  • Unique Sugar Utilization: It's important to note that only a few bacteria have the capacity to simultaneously utilize hexose and pentose sugars. This characteristic underscores the bacterium's significance in industrial biofuel production.
  • Special Metabolic Pathway: These newly discovered bacteria possess a distinctive metabolic pathway for converting various simple and complex substrates into hydrogen and ethanol, contributing to their potential in biofuel production.
  • Exploration of Hostile Habitats: The discovery of such unique and valuable bacteria underscores the importance of exploring microbes in extreme environments like hot springs, where rare and significant species may be found.