New papers in The ISME Journal: Novel Acidobacteria species with a dissimilatory sulfur metabolism


Sulfite- and sulfate-reducing microbes play an important role in the global sulfur and carbon cycles. In wetlands they control the production of the greenhouse gas methane by competing effectively with methanogenic archaea. An international team led by Alexander Loy has for the first time identified sulfur bacteria in the phylum Acidobaceria that is widespread and abundant in soils. Another study further shows that members of many more bacterial and archaeal phyla than previously recognized have a dissimilatory sulfur metabolism. These discoveries greatly expand our understanding of the diversity, evolution, and potential environmental impacts of sulfur microbes.