The new genome, sequenced at the California-based DOE Joint Genome Institute, and completed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was published in the Journal of Bacteriology. It lays the foundation for future research to examine the little understood mechanisms behind the production of methylmercury.
“We know a little about the bacteria that produce methylmercury but we don’t know the mechanism by which they produce it,” adds Cynthia Gilmour, co-author of the study and senior scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md. “We are going to compare this genome with the genome of non-methylmercury producing bacteria, see what genes are different and try and figure out the mechanism.”
Read more at Smithsonian Science