Here at the University of East Anglia we study the process of microbial nitrous oxide (N2O) reduction at the biochemical level. Our group is investigating the relationship between trace metal availability, particularly copper, and bacterial N2O emissions. Copper is a micronutrient needed to produce nitrous oxide reductase, the only known bacterial enzyme that can transform the potent greenhouse nitrous oxide into the innocuous bulk atmospheric gas dinitrogen. Paracoccus denitrificans has been one of our model nitrate-utilising microorganisms for more than twenty years. In this project, we have developed many tools in P. denitrificans including deletions mutants and protein overexpression systems that will be essential to understanding the mechanism of nitrous oxide maturation. This knowledge will also be key to understanding the factors that control nitrous oxide destruction and will help develop new strategies to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils in the future.
Published 22. May 2015 - 13:20 - Updated 2. June 2015 - 12:31