Microbial Metal Respiration: From Geochemistry to Potential by Johannes Gescher, Andreas Kappler

By Johannes Gescher, Andreas Kappler

Microbes can respire on metals. This doubtless uncomplicated discovering is likely one of the significant discoveries that have been made within the box of microbiology within the previous few many years. the significance of this remark is obvious. Metals are hugely plentiful on our planet. Iron is even the main considerable point in the world and the forth such a lot ample point within the Earth’s crust. therefore, in a few environments iron, but additionally different metals or metalloids, are the dominant breathing electron acceptors. Their aid hugely drives the carbon cycle in those environments and establishes redox cycles of the steel electron acceptors themselves. those redox cycles usually are not just a motive force for different biotic reactions yet are in addition valuable for beginning a couple of geochemically appropriate abiotic redox conversions. even supposing common and ecologically influential, electron move onto metals like ferric iron or manganese is biochemically tough. The problem is to move respiration electrons onto metals that ensue in nature at impartial pH within the kind of steel oxides or oxihydroxides which are successfully insoluble. evidently, it will be important that the microbes specifically adapt with the intention to catalyze the electron move onto insoluble electron acceptors. The elucidation of those diversifications is an exhilarating ongoing method. To sum it up, dissimilatory steel aid has frequent implications within the box of microbiology, biochemistry and geochemistry and its discovery was once one of many significant purposes to set up a unique clinical box referred to as geomicrobiology. lately, the invention of strength functions of dissimilatory steel reducers in bioremediation or present creation in a microbial gas mobilephone extra elevated the curiosity in learning microbial steel relief.

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Shuttle-producing bacteria (or bacteria using naturally present shuttles such as humic acids), partially solve this issue by secreting redox-active molecules at nanomolar concentrations that allow access to Fe(III) on the micron scale, as evidenced by stimulation of both current production and Fe(III) reduction by flavins in Shewanella incubations (Coursolle et al. 2010; Marsili et al. 2008; Ross et al. 2009; von Canstein et al. 2008). However, bacteria such as Shewanella, 40 C. E. Levar et al.

Environ Sci Technol 39:9039–9048 Chin KJ, Esteve-Nunez A, Leang C, Lovley DR (2004) Direct correlation between rates of anaerobic respiration and levels of mRNA for key respiratory genes in Geobacter sulfurreducens. Appl Environ Microbiol 70:5183–5189 Coates JD, Bhupathiraju VK, Achenbach LA, McInerney MJ, Lovley DR (2001) Geobacter hydrogenophilus, Geobacter chapellei and Geobacter grbiciae, three new, strictly anaerobic, dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducers. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 51:581–588 Coates JD, Ellis DJ, Blunt-Harris EL, Gaw CV, Roden EE, Lovley DR (1998) Recovery of humicreducing bacteria from a diversity of environments.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108:15248–15252 Coursolle D, Baron DB, Bond DR, Gralnick JA (2010) The Mtr respiratory pathway is essential for reducing flavins and electrodes in Shewanella oneidensis. J Bacteriol 192:467–474 Coursolle D, Gralnick JA (2010) Modularity of the Mtr respiratory pathway of Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1. Mol Microbiol 77:995–1008 de Cárcer DA, Ha PT, Jang JK, Chang IS (2011) Microbial community differences between propionate-fed microbial fuel cell systems under open and closed circuit conditions.

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