Israeli scientists have developed a special type of bacteria that eats only carbon dioxide. It was reported by the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in central Israel.carbon dioxide eating bacteria
In the language of biology, living creatures are split into two types of organisms. There are autotrophs, like plants, which create their own food from inorganic materials like light and carbon dioxide. And there are heterotrophs, like animals and some forms of bacteria, which rely on gobbling up other organisms and organic compounds to survive. Autotrophs make up the majority of Earth’s biomass — and they contribute to many of our sources of food and fuel. carbon dioxide eating bacteria
According to the paper published in “the journal Cell”, researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel reported that they created a strain of the bacteria Escherichia coli, or E. coli, that eats CO2 for energy rather than organic compounds like sugars and fats.
They have been able to ‘reprogram’ E.coil bacteria, which consume sugar and release CO2, therefore they used CO2 from the environment and produce the sugars they (bacteria) need to build their body. You can read in the paper published the complete process that how researchers were able to rewire the bacteria’s metabolic processes to produce all of its mass from CO2. Over several months, they gradually evolved the strain to make the bacteria more dependent on carbon dioxide, rather than sugars, for growth.
firstly they have mapped the genes that are essential to this process and added some of them to the bacteria genome in their lab.
Then, they have inserted a gene that allows the bacteria to receive energy from a substance called formate. carbon dioxide eating bacteria
But this was not enough to make bacteria change their food, the more laboratory processes were needed to gradually make the changes. at each stage of the process the cultured bacteria received a diminishing amount of sugar and at the same time gained an abundance of co2 and formate. carbon dioxide eating bacteria
It took over six months to adjust the bacteria on a new diet.
In the future, the research team hopes to harness electricity as an energy source, thus eliminating the excess release of CO2. For now, the researchers described the study as a “stepping stone” towards more sustainable types of production.
From environment point of view, these researches could play a remarkable role in global pollution reduction as theses are not the substitute of trees these are the supportive of trees as these will be used n chemical industries to reduce the production of harmful gasses.