A03 Biology Group

Elucidation of how the biosphere was established in a CO environment

The Biology Group will expand our knowledge of CO-driven microorganisms, which is still largely unknown, and approach the primitive CO-driven metabolism of life. Our understanding of microbial CO metabolism is still in its infancy stage because the CO environment is rare for our oxygen-rich planet. In this project, we will conduct field studies in two extreme CO environments with different redox levels, a super-reduced serpentinite system in which non-living CH4 and CO coexist, and a deep-sea liquid CO2 pool environment in which CO2 and CO coexist, in paleo-environmental analogs that remain in the current global environment. Field investigations will be conducted. By conducting their omics analysis, isolation culture and metabolic analysis of novel CO-metabolizing microorganisms, and evolutionary analysis, we will present the diversity of processes leading to energy metabolism, carbon fixation, and biomolecular synthesis in CO-driven life, and systematically clarify the etiology, characteristics, and environmental constraints of CO-driven microbial metabolism. Based on these findings, we will identify enzymes and pathways that serve as the interface between the CO environment and life, create and analyze them using synthetic biology and biochemical methods, and clarify their characteristics. Integrating these findings, we will elucidate the reality of organism-environment interactions in the CO environment, and present how primitive life metabolism proceeded in any CO environment.

Suzuki Shino (PI),   JAXA, Institute for Space and Astronautical Science, Associate Professor
Kato Souichiro,      AIST, Bioproduction Research Institute, Group Leader
Shimizu Yoshihiro, Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, Group Leader
Ishii Shunichi,        JAMSTEC, Institute for Extra-cutting-edge Science and Technology Avant-garde Research, Researcher
Fukuyama Yuto,    JAMSTEC, Research Institute for Marine Resources Utilization, PD Researcher
Amikura Kazuaki,  JAXA, Institute for Space and Astronautical Science, Invited Research

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