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Initial development and structure of biofilms on microbial fuel cell anodes

Suzanne Read UGent, Paritam Dutta, Phillip L Bond, Jürg Keller and Korneel Rabaey UGent (2010) BMC MICROBIOLOGY. 10.
abstract
Background: Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) rely on electrochemically active bacteria to capture the chemical energy contained in organics and convert it to electrical energy. Bacteria develop biofilms on the MFC electrodes, allowing considerable conversion capacity and opportunities for extracellular electron transfer (EET). The present knowledge on EET is centred around two Gram-negative models, i.e. Shewanella and Geobacter species, as it is believed that Gram-positives cannot perform EET by themselves as the Gram-negatives can. To understand how bacteria form biofilms within MFCs and how their development, structure and viability affects electron transfer, we performed pure and co-culture experiments. Results: Biofilm viability was maintained highest nearer the anode during closed circuit operation (current flowing), in contrast to when the anode was in open circuit (soluble electron acceptor) where viability was highest on top of the biofilm, furthest from the anode. Closed circuit anode Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms were considerably thinner compared to the open circuit anode (30 +/- 3 mu m and 42 +/- 3 mu m respectively), which is likely due to the higher energetic gain of soluble electron acceptors used. The two Gram-positive bacteria used only provided a fraction of current produced by the Gram-negative organisms. Power output of co-cultures Gram-positive Enterococcus faecium and either Gram-negative organisms, increased by 30-70% relative to the single cultures. Over time the co-culture biofilms segregated, in particular, Pseudomonas aeruginosa creating towers piercing through a thin, uniform layer of Enterococcus faecium. P. aeruginosa and E. faecium together generated a current of 1.8 +/- 0.4 mA while alone they produced 0.9 +/- 0.01 and 0.2 +/- 0.05 mA respectively. Conclusion: We postulate that this segregation may be an essential difference in strategy for electron transfer and substrate capture between the Gram-negative and the Gram-positive bacteria used here.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
DISSIMILATORY FE(III) REDUCTION, TARGETED OLIGONUCLEOTIDE PROBES, WASTE-WATER TREATMENT, ELECTRON-TRANSFER, ELECTRICITY-GENERATION, OXIDE REDUCTION, BIOFUEL CELLS, BACTERIA, COMMUNITY, IDENTIFICATION
journal title
BMC MICROBIOLOGY
BMC Microbiol.
volume
10
article number
98
pages
10 pages
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000277075700001
JCR category
MICROBIOLOGY
JCR impact factor
2.96 (2010)
JCR rank
38/103 (2010)
JCR quartile
2 (2010)
ISSN
1471-2180
DOI
10.1186/1471-2180-10-98
language
English
UGent publication?
no
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
2008971
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2008971
date created
2012-01-31 11:01:50
date last changed
2017-06-14 09:34:13
@article{2008971,
  abstract     = {Background: Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) rely on electrochemically active bacteria to capture the chemical energy contained in organics and convert it to electrical energy. Bacteria develop biofilms on the MFC electrodes, allowing considerable conversion capacity and opportunities for extracellular electron transfer (EET). The present knowledge on EET is centred around two Gram-negative models, i.e. Shewanella and Geobacter species, as it is believed that Gram-positives cannot perform EET by themselves as the Gram-negatives can. To understand how bacteria form biofilms within MFCs and how their development, structure and viability affects electron transfer, we performed pure and co-culture experiments. 
Results: Biofilm viability was maintained highest nearer the anode during closed circuit operation (current flowing), in contrast to when the anode was in open circuit (soluble electron acceptor) where viability was highest on top of the biofilm, furthest from the anode. Closed circuit anode Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms were considerably thinner compared to the open circuit anode (30 +/- 3 mu m and 42 +/- 3 mu m respectively), which is likely due to the higher energetic gain of soluble electron acceptors used. The two Gram-positive bacteria used only provided a fraction of current produced by the Gram-negative organisms. Power output of co-cultures Gram-positive Enterococcus faecium and either Gram-negative organisms, increased by 30-70\% relative to the single cultures. Over time the co-culture biofilms segregated, in particular, Pseudomonas aeruginosa creating towers piercing through a thin, uniform layer of Enterococcus faecium. P. aeruginosa and E. faecium together generated a current of 1.8 +/- 0.4 mA while alone they produced 0.9 +/- 0.01 and 0.2 +/- 0.05 mA respectively. 
Conclusion: We postulate that this segregation may be an essential difference in strategy for electron transfer and substrate capture between the Gram-negative and the Gram-positive bacteria used here.},
  articleno    = {98},
  author       = {Read, Suzanne and Dutta, Paritam and Bond, Phillip L and Keller, J{\"u}rg and Rabaey, Korneel},
  issn         = {1471-2180},
  journal      = {BMC MICROBIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {DISSIMILATORY FE(III) REDUCTION,TARGETED OLIGONUCLEOTIDE PROBES,WASTE-WATER TREATMENT,ELECTRON-TRANSFER,ELECTRICITY-GENERATION,OXIDE REDUCTION,BIOFUEL CELLS,BACTERIA,COMMUNITY,IDENTIFICATION},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {10},
  title        = {Initial development and structure of biofilms on microbial fuel cell anodes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2180-10-98},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Read, Suzanne, Paritam Dutta, Phillip L Bond, Jürg Keller, and Korneel Rabaey. 2010. “Initial Development and Structure of Biofilms on Microbial Fuel Cell Anodes.” Bmc Microbiology 10.
APA
Read, S., Dutta, P., Bond, P. L., Keller, J., & Rabaey, K. (2010). Initial development and structure of biofilms on microbial fuel cell anodes. BMC MICROBIOLOGY, 10.
Vancouver
1.
Read S, Dutta P, Bond PL, Keller J, Rabaey K. Initial development and structure of biofilms on microbial fuel cell anodes. BMC MICROBIOLOGY. 2010;10.
MLA
Read, Suzanne, Paritam Dutta, Phillip L Bond, et al. “Initial Development and Structure of Biofilms on Microbial Fuel Cell Anodes.” BMC MICROBIOLOGY 10 (2010): n. pag. Print.