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Title: Molecular Basis for Electron Flow Within Metal-and Electrode-Reducing Biofilms

Electrochemical, spectral, genetic, and biochemical techniques were developed to reveal that a diverse suite of redox proteins and structural macromolecules outside the cell work together to move electrons long distances between Geobacter cells to metals and electrodes. In this project, we greatly expanded the known participants in the electron transfer pathway of Geobacter. For example, in addition to well-studied pili, polysaccharides contribute to anchoring, different cytochromes are required under different conditions, strategies change with redox potential, and the localization of these components can change depending on where cells are located in a biofilm. By inventing new electrodes compatible with real-time spectral measurements, we were able to visualize the redox status of biofilms in action, leading to a hypothesis that long-distance electron transfer is ultimately limiting in these systems and redox potentials change within biofilms. The goals of this project were met, as we were able to 1) identify new elements crucial to the expression, assembly and function of the extracellular electron transfer phenotype 2) expand spectral and electrochemical techniques to define the mechanism and route of electron transfer through the matrix, and 3) combine this knowledge to build the next generation of genetic tools for study of this complex process.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1332121
Report Number(s):
DOE-UMN--6868
DOE Contract Number:
SC0006868
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE