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Electrochemical and genomic analysis of novel electroactive isolates obtained via potentiostatic enrichment from tropical sediment
Reference: Journal of Power Sources (2017) 356: 539-548

Enrichment of electrochemically-active microorganisms (EAM) to date has mostly relied on microbial fuel cells fed with wastewater. This study aims to enrich novel EAM by exposing tropical sediment, not frequently reported in the literature, to sustained anodic potentials. Voltamperometric techniques and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, performed over a wide range of potentials, characterise extracellular electron transfer (EET) over time. Applied potential is found to affect biofilm electrochemical signature. Geobacter metallireducens is heavily enriched on the electrodes, as determined by metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analysis, in the first report of the species in a lactate-fed system. Two novel isolates are grown in pure culture from the enrichment, identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing as Aeromonas and Enterobacter, respectively. The names proposed are Aeromonas sp. CL-1 and Enterobacter sp. EA-1. Both isolates are capable of EET on carbon felt and screen-printed carbon electrodes without the addition of exogenous redox mediators. Enterobacter sp. EA-1 can also perform mediated electron transfer using the soluble redox mediator 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (HNQ). Both isolates are able to use acetate and lactate as electron donors. This work outlines a comprehensive methodology for characterising novel EAM from unconventional inocula.

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