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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2016 Oct;14(10):651-62. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro.2016.93. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Extracellular electron transfer mechanisms between microorganisms and minerals.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geoscience in Wuhan, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, China.
2
Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA.
3
State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China.
4
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48823, USA.
5
The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, USA.
6
School of Space and Earth Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
7
College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
8
Department of Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China.
9
Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352, USA.

Abstract

Electrons can be transferred from microorganisms to multivalent metal ions that are associated with minerals and vice versa. As the microbial cell envelope is neither physically permeable to minerals nor electrically conductive, microorganisms have evolved strategies to exchange electrons with extracellular minerals. In this Review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms that underlie the ability of microorganisms to exchange electrons, such as c-type cytochromes and microbial nanowires, with extracellular minerals and with microorganisms of the same or different species. Microorganisms that have extracellular electron transfer capability can be used for biotechnological applications, including bioremediation, biomining and the production of biofuels and nanomaterials.

PMID:
27573579
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro.2016.93
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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