The SAS proposals for participation in FP6 projects
are listed in blocks according to the FP6 priority theme structure

FP6 priority
1.1.5   Food Quality and Safety
Title of the proposal

The biochemical genetic approach to the resolution of the molecular mechanisms of energy transformation in Methanoarchaea. Implications for biotechnology of metanogenesis.

Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Animal Biochemistry and Genetics
90028 Ivanka pri Dunaji, Slovak Republic
Peter SMIGAN, Doc.RNDr.DrSc.
+421 2 45 943151

Research subject for a potential FP6 project

A systematic genetic approach to the problem of enegy conservation in Bacteria and Eucarya has proved to be very valuable. In Methanoarchaea, a genetic approach to bioenergetic problems has been applied only recently. It seems logical to extend mutant methodology also to the solution of the problems of energy conservation in these cells. Recent studies have revealed that molecular architecture of ATP synthase in Methanoarchaea exerts some specific features different from ATP synthase in Eucaryotes and Eubacteria and that the bioenergetics of Methanoarchaea exhibits unique features as well. For example, methanogenesis in methanogens is coupled to the gene-ration of an electrochemical proton gradient and electrochemical sodium ion gradient. Complexity of this bioenergetic machinery resists to the resolution of the coupling membranes into individual complex containing pieces of structural and functional bioenergetic subsystems. To understand the function and complex interrelationship of these bioenergetic subsystems, genetic elimination of the component of the bioenergetic machinery could be helpful. The main goal of this project is to isolate and characterise a set of mutants as a tool for an understanding of bioenergetic mechanisms in these cells together with maximizing the use of methane biotechnology to convert waste material of different origin to methane as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Recent international cooperation of the research team

Prof. G. Gottschalk,Inst.fur Mikrobiologie G.A.Universitat Gottingen, FRG.
Dr. J. Chong , Dept. of Biol. Biochemistry, University of Bath, UK.
Prof. V. Muller, Inst.fur Mikrobiologie L.M. Universitat Munchen, FRG.

Proposerīs relevant publications related to the research subject

Smigan P., Majernik, A., Greksak,M.: Na+-driven ATP synthesis in Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum and its differentiation from H+-driven ATP synthesis by rhodamine 6G. FEBS Lett. 347,( 1994) 190-194.
Smigan, P., Majernik,A., Polak,P., Hapala,I ., Greksak, M.: The presence of H+ -translocating ATPase in Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum and their possible function under alkaline conditions. FEBS Lett. 371, ( 1995) 119-122.
Smigan,P., Polak,P., Majernik,A., Greksak, M.: Isolation and chracterization of a neomycin-resistant mutant of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum with a lesion in Na+-translocating ATPase (synthase). FEBS Lett. 420, (1997) 93-96.
Polak,P., Smigan,P., Greksak, M.: The membrane potential of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum under different external conditions, Folia Microbiol. 45, ( 2000) 107-113.