Anaerobic glucose uptake in Pseudomonas putida KT2440 in a bioelectrochemical system

Laura Pause, Anna Weimer, Nicolas T. Wirth, Anh Vu Nguyen, Claudius Lenz, Michael Kohlstedt, Christoph Wittmann, Pablo I. Nikel, Bin Lai*, Jens O. Krömer

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Providing an anodic potential in a bio-electrochemical system to the obligate aerobe Pseudomonas putida enables anaerobic survival and allows the cells to overcome redox imbalances. In this setup, the bacteria could be exploited to produce chemicals via oxidative pathways at high yield. However, the absence of anaerobic growth and low carbon turnover rates remain as obstacles for the application of such an electro-fermentation technology. Growth and carbon turnover start with carbon uptake into the periplasm and cytosol. P. putida KT2440 has three native transporting systems for glucose, each differing in energy and redox demand. This architecture previously led to the hypothesis that internal redox and energy constraints ultimately limit cytoplasmic carbon utilization in a bio-electrochemical system. However, it remains largely unclear which uptake route is predominantly used by P. putida under electro-fermentative conditions. To elucidate this, we created three gene deletion mutants of P. putida KT2440, forcing the cells to exclusively utilize one of the routes. When grown in a bio-electrochemical system, the pathway mutants were heavily affected in terms of sugar consumption, current output and product formation. Surprisingly, however, we found that about half of the acetate formed in the cytoplasm originated from carbon that was put into the system via the inoculation biomass, while the other half came from the consumption of substrate. The deletion of individual sugar uptake routes did not alter significantly the secreted acetate concentrations among different strains even with different carbon sources. This means that the stoichiometry of the sugar uptake routes is not a limiting factor during electro-fermentation and that the low rates might be caused by other reasons, for example energy limitations or a yet-to-be-identified oxygen-dependent regulatory mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
Number of pages14
ISSN1751-7907
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

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