Biologists have found a new photosynthetic bacterium in China’s Inner Mongolia region
Prague, May 14 (ČTK) — Czech biologists found a new type of photosynthetic bacteria of the rare Gemmatimonadetes phylum (whose energy is derived from sunlight) in a freshwater desert lake in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, Czech Academy of Sciences spokeswoman Miroslava Kanková has told the Czech News Agency.
The team from the Microbiology Institute in Třeboň, south Bohemia, which is part of the academy, cooperated with the Inner Mongolia University on the research focusing on the new group of phototrophic bacteria in the eastern part of the Gobi Desert.
Only three new groups of phototrophic bacteria were found in the past 100 years.
Kanková said the finding is an evidence that the complete set of approximately 30 genes for chlorophyll-based phototrophy can be transferred between distant bacterial phyla.
Until now, only transfers of individual genes were known.
The newly revealed organism has photosynthetic reaction centers containing the bacteriochlorophyll and spirilloxanthin pigments, and it probably can gain energy from sunlight thanks to a horizontal gene transfer from a purple phototrophic bacterium, Kanková said.