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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 Jan;278(1):29-35. Epub 2007 Nov 6.

Growth with high planktonic biomass in Shewanella oneidensis fuel cells.

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Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 grew for over 50 days in microbial fuel cells, incompletely oxidizing lactate to acetate with high recovery of the electrons derived from this reaction as electricity. Electricity was produced with lactate or hydrogen and current was comparable to that of electricigens which completely oxidize organic substrates. However, unlike fuel cells with previously described electricigens, in which cells are primarily attached to the anode, at least as many of the S. oneidensis cells were planktonic as were attached to the anode. These results demonstrate that S. oneidensis may conserve energy for growth with an electrode serving as an electron acceptor and suggest that multiple strategies for electron transfer to fuel cell anodes exist.

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