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Characterization of electrochemically active bacteria utilizing a high-throughput voltage-based screening assay.

Authors
  • Biffinger, Justin
  • Ribbens, Meghann
  • Ringeisen, Bradley
  • Pietron, Jeremy
  • Finkel, Steven
  • Nealson, Kenneth
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2009
Volume
102
Issue
2
Pages
436–444
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/bit.22072
PMID: 18767193
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Metal reduction assays are traditionally used to select and characterize electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) for use in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, correlating the ability of a microbe to generate current from an MFC to the reduction of metal oxides has not been definitively established in the literature. As these metal reduction assays may not be generally reliable, here we describe a four- to nine-well prototype high throughput voltage-based screening assay (VBSA) designed using MFC engineering principles and a universal cathode. Bacterial growth curves for Shewanella oneidensis strains DSP10 and MR-1 were generated directly from changes in open circuit voltage and current with five percent deviation calculated between each well. These growth curves exhibited a strong correlation with literature doubling times for Shewanella indicating that the VBSA can be used to monitor distinct fundamental properties of EAB life cycles. In addition, eight different organic electron donors (acetate, lactate, citrate, fructose, glucose, sucrose, soluble starch, and agar) were tested with S. oneidensis MR-1 in anode chambers exposed to air. Under oxygen exposure, we found that current was generated in direct response to additions of acetate, lactate, and glucose.

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