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Dr. Madeline Rasche

Research Interests

Methane production by microorganisms has a powerful impact on the environment because methane (CH4) is both an energy source and a greenhouse gas. Many of the microbial enzymes involved in methane production require a specialized coenzyme called tetrahydromethanopterin (H4MPT). Our laboratory uses a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics, and biophysical approaches to identify and characterize genes and enzymes required for the biosynthesis of H4MPT. By understanding how one of these enzymes works, it has been possible to develop inhibitors of methane production that may help to decrease the production of methane as a greenhouse gas from biological sources such as microorganisms in the rumen (first stomach) of domestic cattle.