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Title: Metabolic Reconstruction and Modeling Microbial Electrosynthesis

Microbial electrosynthesis is a renewable energy and chemical production platform that relies on microbial cells to capture electrons from a cathode and fix carbon. Yet despite the promise of this technology, the metabolic capacity of the microbes that inhabit the electrode surface and catalyze electron transfer in these systems remains largely unknown. Here, we assembled thirteen draft genomes from a microbial electrosynthesis system producing primarily acetate from carbon dioxide, and their transcriptional activity was mapped to genomes from cells on the electrode surface and in the supernatant. This allowed us to create a metabolic model of the predominant community members belonging to Acetobacterium, Sulfurospirillum, and Desulfovibrio. According to the model, the Acetobacterium was the primary carbon fixer, and a keystone member of the community. Transcripts of soluble hydrogenases and ferredoxins from Acetobacterium and hydrogenases, formate dehydrogenase, and cytochromes of Desulfovibrio were found in high abundance near the electrode surface. Cytochrome c oxidases of facultative members of the community were highly expressed in the supernatant despite completely sealed reactors and constant flushing with anaerobic gases. The resulting molecular discoveries and metabolic modeling now serve as a foundation for future examination and development of electrosynthetic microbial communities.
 [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [4] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [2]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Biosciences Division; Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Dept. of Surgery
  2. Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States). Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Computing Environment and Life Sciences
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Biosciences Division
  5. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Biosciences Division; Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). Dept. of Ecology and Evolution, Dept. of Surgery
  6. Medical Univ. of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (United States). Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Science Center
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; AR0000089
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; applied microbiology; metagenomics
OSTI Identifier: