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Extracellular Electron Uptake: Among Autotrophs and Mediated by Surfaces
- Tremblay, Pier-Luc, Angenent, Largus T., Zhang, Tian
- Trends in biotechnology 2017 v.35 pp. 360-371
- autotrophs, carbon dioxide, corrosion, electrodes, electron transfer, electrons, enzymes, greenhouse gases, hydrogen, microorganisms, proteins, steel
- Autotrophic microbes can acquire electrons from solid donors such as steel, other microbial cells, or electrodes. Based on this feature, bioprocesses are being developed for the microbial electrosynthesis (MES) of useful products from the greenhouse gas CO2. Extracellular electron-transfer mechanisms involved in the acquisition of electrons from metals by electrical microbially influenced corrosion (EMIC), from other living cells by interspecies electron transfer (IET), or from an electrode during MES rely on: (i) mediators such as H2; (ii) physical contact through electron-transfer proteins; or (iii) mediator-generating enzymes detached from cells. This review explores the interactions of autotrophs with solid electron donors and their importance in nature and for biosustainable technologies.