Widespread photosynthetic bacteria
Very few bacterial species have been found that have the ability to photosynthesise, but researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have now discovered one more in a lake in the Gobi Desert. The study found that the genes allowing the bacteria to process sunlight into fuel is organised into cluster, which means it could be removed altogether and transferred to another bacterium. This means that, in principle, scientists could artificially make Escherichia coli photosynthetic. As E. coli shares many common traits with a variety of other bacteria and is easy to manipulate, if successful, the experiment could lead to more economic and efficient biofuel production.