Long-distance electron transport in individual, living cable bacteria

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  • Jesper T. Bjerg
  • Henricus T. S. Boschker, Univ Antwerp, University of Antwerp, Dept Biol, Ecosyst Management Res Grp
  • ,
  • Steffen Larsen
  • ,
  • David Berry, Univ Vienna, University of Vienna, Res Network Chem Meets Microbiol
  • ,
  • Markus Schmid, Univ Vienna, University of Vienna, Res Network Chem Meets Microbiol
  • ,
  • Diego Millo, Vrije Univ Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Dept Phys & Astron
  • ,
  • Paula Tataru
  • ,
  • Filip J. R. Meysman
  • Michael Wagner, Univ Vienna, University of Vienna, Div Microbial Ecol, Dept Microbiol & Ecosyst Sci, Univ Vienna, University of Vienna, Res Network Chem Meets Microbiol
  • ,
  • Lars Peter Nielsen
  • Andreas Schramm

Electron transport within living cells is essential for energy conservation in all respiring and photosynthetic organisms. While a few bacteria transport electrons over micrometer distances to their surroundings, filaments of cable bacteria are hypothesized to conduct electric currents over centimeter distances. We used resonance Raman microscopy to analyze cytochrome redox states in living cable bacteria. Cable-bacteria filaments were placed in microscope chambers with sulfide as electron source and oxygen as electron sink at opposite ends. Along individual filaments a gradient in cytochrome redox potential was detected, which immediately broke down upon removal of oxygen or laser cutting of the filaments. Without access to oxygen, a rapid shift toward more reduced cytochromes was observed, as electrons were no longer drained from the filament but accumulated in the cellular cytochromes. These results provide direct evidence for long-distance electron transport in living multicellular bacteria.

TidsskriftProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Sider (fra-til)5786-5791
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 29 maj 2018

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