Microbial mats are self-sustaining ecosystems that represent early forms of life on Earth and orchestrate essentially all the major biogeochemical cycles in the space of a few millimeters. The primary goal of this project is to develop highly-resolved, population-specific functional profiles of dynamic microbial mat communities across relevant spatial and temporal scales. Using these data, the researchers hope learn more about how naturally-occurring mats produce and liberate hydrogen and methane, and degrade cellulose. The information could then be used to determine efficient energy conversion strategies in light- and chemical-based systems, and identify specific pathways/proteins important in conversion of inorganic carbon to various metabolites.
Proposer’s Name: Jim Fredrickson, PNNL