Maintaining our Atmosphere - Nitrogen Cycling Enzymes of Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office

Abstract

Anaerobic ammonium oxidation or 'anammox' is the most recent addition to processes recognised in the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle (1,2). Originally discovered in a Dutch waste-water treatment plant, anammox bacteria combine nitrite and ammonium to make N2 in the absence of O2. It has since become clear that these bacteria are metabolically dominant in O2-minimum zones across the world's oceans and may produce one out of every two N2 molecules released annually into the atmosphere. Despite the environmental and biotechnological importance of anammox there is very little knowledge of the enzymology underpinning the process.

This exciting and ambitious project builds on recent success in the purification of novel anammox enzymes and has the aim of resolving the structural, catalytic and redox properties of these enzymes (1-5). The successful applicant will be a talented biochemist or chemist with an enthusiasm for metalloproteins and enzymology who will develop advanced skills in the characterisation of redox enzymes by spectroscopic (EPR and MCD), spectro-electrochemical and protein film voltammetric methods. Research will be performed within the vibrant Centre for Molecular and Spectroscopic Biochemistry under the supervision of Professor Julea Butt and Dr Myles Cheesman in the School of Chemistry, University of East Anglia and in collaboration with Dr Jan Keltjens, Dr Boran Kartal and Prof Mike Jetten, Nijmegen University, NL.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1654436 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 06/07/2016 David Miko