Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 Nov;77(2):393-402. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

Comparison of anode bacterial communities and performance in microbial fuel cells with different electron donors.

Author information

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) harness the electrochemical activity of certain microbes for the production of electricity from reduced compounds. Characterizations of MFC anode biofilms have collectively shown very diverse microbial communities, raising ecological questions about competition and community succession within these anode-reducing communities. Three sets of triplicate, two-chamber MFCs inoculated with anaerobic sludge and differing in energy sources (acetate, lactate, and glucose) were operated to explore these questions. Based on 16S rDNA-targeted denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), all anode communities contained sequences closely affiliated with Geobacter sulfurreducens (>99% similarity) and an uncultured bacterium clone in the Bacteroidetes class (99% similarity). Various other Geobacter-like sequences were also enriched in most of the anode biofilms. While the anode communities in replicate reactors for each substrate generally converged to a reproducible community, there were some variations in the relative distribution of these putative anode-reducing Geobacter-like strains. Firmicutes were found only in glucose-fed MFCs, presumably serving the roles of converting complex carbon into simple molecules and scavenging oxygen. The maximum current density in these systems was negatively correlated with internal resistance variations among replicate reactors and, likely, was only minimally affected by anode community differences in these two-chamber MFCs with high internal resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center