islamabad        -     Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Ohio State University discovered a new microbial pathway that produces ethylene, providing a potential avenue for bio-manufacturing a common component of plastics, adhesives, coolants, and other everyday products. The discovery, published in Science, sheds light on a long-standing mystery about how ethylene is produced in anaerobic, or oxygen-deprived, soils, and points to potential paths to prevent crop damage from high levels of ethylene. The study also outlines a previously unknown way bacteria generate methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. 

The research team found that ethylene and methane are byproducts of a bacterial process that makes methionine, an amino acid necessary for building proteins. When their environment is anaerobic and low in sulfur, bacteria are forced to scavenge sulfur from cellular waste products, triggering this new pathway.