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Dynamics of cathode-associated microbial communities and metabolite profiles in a glycerol-fed bioelectrochemical system

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Abstract
Electrical current can be used to supply reducing power to microbial metabolism. This phenomenon is typically studied in pure cultures with added redox mediators to transfer charge. Here, we investigate the development of a current-fed mixed microbial community fermenting glycerol at the cathode of a bioelectrochemical system in the absence of added mediators and identify correlations between microbial diversity and the respective product outcomes. Within 1 week of inoculation, a Citrobacter population represented 95 to 99% of the community and the metabolite profiles were dominated by 1,3-propanediol and ethanol. Over time, the Citrobacter population decreased in abundance while that of a Pectinatus population and the formation of propionate increased. After 6 weeks, several Clostridium populations and the production of valerate increased, which suggests that chain elongation was being performed. Current supply was stopped after 9 weeks and was associated with a decrease in glycerol degradation and alcohol formation. This decrease was reversed by resuming current supply; however, when hydrogen gas was bubbled through the reactor during open-circuit operation (open-circuit potential) as an alternative source of reducing power, glycerol degradation and metabolite production were unaffected. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that the community appeared to catalyze the hydrogen evolution reaction, leading to a +400-mV shift in its onset potential. Our results clearly demonstrate that current supply can alter fermentation profiles; however, further work is needed to determine the mechanisms behind this effect. In addition, operational conditions must be refined to gain greater control over community composition and metabolic outcomes.
Keywords
KLEBSIELLA, ELECTROSYNTHESIS, FERMENTATION, 3-PROPANEDIOL, EXTRACELLULAR ELECTRON-TRANSFER, 1

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Citation

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MLA
Dennis, Paul G, Falk Harnisch, Yun Kit Yeoh, et al. “Dynamics of Cathode-associated Microbial Communities and Metabolite Profiles in a Glycerol-fed Bioelectrochemical System.” APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY 79.13 (2013): 4008–4014. Print.
APA
Dennis, P. G., Harnisch, F., Yeoh, Y. K., Tyson, G. W., & Rabaey, K. (2013). Dynamics of cathode-associated microbial communities and metabolite profiles in a glycerol-fed bioelectrochemical system. APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 79(13), 4008–4014.
Chicago author-date
Dennis, Paul G, Falk Harnisch, Yun Kit Yeoh, Gene W Tyson, and Korneel Rabaey. 2013. “Dynamics of Cathode-associated Microbial Communities and Metabolite Profiles in a Glycerol-fed Bioelectrochemical System.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79 (13): 4008–4014.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Dennis, Paul G, Falk Harnisch, Yun Kit Yeoh, Gene W Tyson, and Korneel Rabaey. 2013. “Dynamics of Cathode-associated Microbial Communities and Metabolite Profiles in a Glycerol-fed Bioelectrochemical System.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79 (13): 4008–4014.
Vancouver
1.
Dennis PG, Harnisch F, Yeoh YK, Tyson GW, Rabaey K. Dynamics of cathode-associated microbial communities and metabolite profiles in a glycerol-fed bioelectrochemical system. APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY. 2013;79(13):4008–14.
IEEE
[1]
P. G. Dennis, F. Harnisch, Y. K. Yeoh, G. W. Tyson, and K. Rabaey, “Dynamics of cathode-associated microbial communities and metabolite profiles in a glycerol-fed bioelectrochemical system,” APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, vol. 79, no. 13, pp. 4008–4014, 2013.
@article{4193313,
  abstract     = {Electrical current can be used to supply reducing power to microbial metabolism. This phenomenon is typically studied in pure cultures with added redox mediators to transfer charge. Here, we investigate the development of a current-fed mixed microbial community fermenting glycerol at the cathode of a bioelectrochemical system in the absence of added mediators and identify correlations between microbial diversity and the respective product outcomes. Within 1 week of inoculation, a Citrobacter population represented 95 to 99% of the community and the metabolite profiles were dominated by 1,3-propanediol and ethanol. Over time, the Citrobacter population decreased in abundance while that of a Pectinatus population and the formation of propionate increased. After 6 weeks, several Clostridium populations and the production of valerate increased, which suggests that chain elongation was being performed. Current supply was stopped after 9 weeks and was associated with a decrease in glycerol degradation and alcohol formation. This decrease was reversed by resuming current supply; however, when hydrogen gas was bubbled through the reactor during open-circuit operation (open-circuit potential) as an alternative source of reducing power, glycerol degradation and metabolite production were unaffected. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that the community appeared to catalyze the hydrogen evolution reaction, leading to a +400-mV shift in its onset potential. Our results clearly demonstrate that current supply can alter fermentation profiles; however, further work is needed to determine the mechanisms behind this effect. In addition, operational conditions must be refined to gain greater control over community composition and metabolic outcomes.},
  author       = {Dennis, Paul G and Harnisch, Falk and Yeoh, Yun Kit and Tyson, Gene W and Rabaey, Korneel},
  issn         = {0099-2240},
  journal      = {APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY},
  keywords     = {KLEBSIELLA,ELECTROSYNTHESIS,FERMENTATION,3-PROPANEDIOL,EXTRACELLULAR ELECTRON-TRANSFER,1},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {13},
  pages        = {4008--4014},
  title        = {Dynamics of cathode-associated microbial communities and metabolite profiles in a glycerol-fed bioelectrochemical system},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00569-13},
  volume       = {79},
  year         = {2013},
}

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