HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
The forgotten methane source

tonnes worldwide annual methane production.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics have now discovered that plants themselves produce methane and emit it into the atmosphere, even in completely normal, oxygen-rich surroundings. The researchers made the surprising discovery during an investigation of which gases are emitted by dead and fresh leaves. Then, in the laboratory and in the wild, the scientists looked at the release of gases from living plants like maize and ryegrass (see image 1). In this investigation, it turned out that living plants let out some 10 to 1000 times more methane than dead plant material. The researchers then were able to show that the rate of methane production grew drastically when the plants were exposed to the sun.

Although the scientists have some first indications, it is still unclear what processes are responsible for the formation of methane in plants. The researchers from Heidelberg assume that there is an unknown, hidden reaction mechanism, which current knowledge about plants cannot explain - in other words, a new area of research for biochemistry and plant physiology.

In terms of total amount of production worldwide, the scientists' first guesses are between 60 and 240 million tonnes of methane per year. That means that about 10 to 30 percent of present annual methane production comes from plants. The largest portion of that - about two-thirds - originates from tropical areas, because that is where the most biomass is located. The evidence of direct methane emissions from plants also explains the unexpectedly high methane concentrations over tropical forests, measured only recently via satellite by a research group from the University of Heidelberg.

But why would such a seemingly obvious discovery only come about now, 20 years after hundreds of scientists around the globe started investigating the global methane cycle? "Methane could not really be created that way," says Dr. F
'"/>

Contact: Dr. Frank Keppler
frank.keppler@mpi-hd.mpg.de
49-622-151-6575
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
11-Jan-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Gone but not forgotten
2. Plants do not emit methane
3. Explaining the methane mystery
4. Sequencing the genome of a new kind of methane producer
5. LUCA technologies confirms real-time methane generation
6. Hydrogen and methane provide raw energy for life at Lost City
7. Pets could be source of multiresistant bacteria infections in humans, MU researchers investigate
8. Bright future for nano-sized light source
9. Pointing a finger at the source of fecal bacteria
10. Alien plants attack using resource conservation as weapon, researchers say
11. Supermap of avian flu yields new info on source/spread

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/7/2018)... ... November 07, 2018 , ... The awards were ... life science industry. The event was attended by 150 industry executives from leading ... and drug discovery. The winners were determined by responses to an online ballot ...
(Date:11/6/2018)... ... November 06, 2018 , ... ... improve disease detection. Advanced systems can perform a complete blood count (CBC) and ... white blood cells. They also produce improved flagging of abnormal results to aid ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... 01, 2018 , ... The Conference Forum announces the keynote-speaking ... 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Times Square in New York City. , The ... Global Franchise Leader in Cancer Immunotherapy Biomarkers and IO360° Plenary Chair, Priti ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/31/2018)... ... October 30, 2018 , ... Today, the National Corn Growers ... of this global competition is to find new and innovative uses of field corn. ... farmers produced 14.6 billion bushels of corn and are on pace to produce the ...
(Date:10/25/2018)... ... ... To prepare for radiological and nuclear emergencies, the U.S. Department of Health and ... repurpose its commercial Silverlon ® technology for radiation injuries of the skin. ... a three-year, $8.4 million contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), ...
(Date:10/24/2018)... ... October 22, 2018 , ... uBiome, the ... of the Data Science Institute, Stephenson Chair of Data Science, and Professor in ... the board of leading scientists and doctors from around the world, Dr. Bourne ...
(Date:10/24/2018)... ... 23, 2018 , ... Molecular Devices LLC, a leader in ... recently created biologics solutions business unit. The business unit combines the industry-leading ForteBio ... will be known as ForteBio. It is accompanied by a new logo. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: