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Bioelectrochemistry. 2009 Sep;76(1-2):14-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bioelechem.2009.04.001. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Lactococcus lactis catalyses electricity generation at microbial fuel cell anodes via excretion of a soluble quinone.

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Bio-analytical and Physical Chemistry Laboratory, Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8205, Japan.


Lactococcus lactis is a gram-positive, normally homolactic fermenter that is known to produce several kinds of membrane associated quinones, which are able to mediate electron transfer to extracellular electron acceptors such as Fe(3+), Cu(2+) and hexacyanoferrate. Here we show that this bacterium is also capable of performing extracellular electron transfer to anodes by utilizing at least two soluble redox mediators, as suggested by the two-step catalytic current developed. One of these two mediators was herein suggested to be 2-amino-3-dicarboxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (ACNQ), via evaluation of standard redox potential, ability of the bacterium to exploit the quinone when exogenously provided, as well as by high performance liquid chromatography coupled with UV spectrum analysis. During electricity generation, L. lactis slightly deviated from its normal homolactic metabolism by excreting acetate and pyruvate in stoichiometric amounts with respect to the electrical current. In this metabolism, the anode takes on the role of electron sink for acetogenic fermentation. The finding that L. lactis self-catalyses anodic electron transfer by excretion of redox mediators is remarkable as the mechanisms of extracellular electron transfer by pure cultures of gram-positive bacteria had previously never been elucidated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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