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Nature. 2012 Nov 8;491(7423):218-21. doi: 10.1038/nature11586. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Filamentous bacteria transport electrons over centimetre distances.

Author information

1
Center for Geomicrobiology, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

Abstract

Oxygen consumption in marine sediments is often coupled to the oxidation of sulphide generated by degradation of organic matter in deeper, oxygen-free layers. Geochemical observations have shown that this coupling can be mediated by electric currents carried by unidentified electron transporters across centimetre-wide zones. Here we present evidence that the native conductors are long, filamentous bacteria. They abounded in sediment zones with electric currents and along their length they contained strings with distinct properties in accordance with a function as electron transporters. Living, electrical cables add a new dimension to the understanding of interactions in nature and may find use in technology development.

PMID:
23103872
DOI:
10.1038/nature11586
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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