Sulfur oxidation to sulfate coupled with electron transfer to electrodes by Desulfuromonas strain TZ1

Tian Zhang, Timothy S. Bain, Melissa A. Barlett, Shabir A. Dar, Oona L. Snoeyenbos-West, Kelly P. Nevin, Derek R. Lovley

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Microbial oxidation of elemental sulfur with an electrode serving as the electron acceptor is of interest because this may play an important role in the recovery of electrons from sulfidic wastes and for current production in marine benthic microbial fuel cells. Enrichments initiated with a marine sediment inoculum, with elemental sulfur as the electron donor and a positively poised (+300 mV versus Ag/AgCl) anode as the electron acceptor, yielded an anode biofilm with a diversity of micro-organisms, including Thiobacillus, Sulfurimonas, Pseudomonas, Clostridium and Desulfuromonas species. Further enrichment of the anode biofilm inoculum in medium with elemental sulfur as the electron donor and Fe(III) oxide as the electron acceptor, followed by isolation in solidified sulfur/Fe(III) medium yielded a strain of Desulfuromonas, designated strain TZ1. Strain TZ1 effectively oxidized elemental sulfur to sulfate with an anode serving as the sole electron acceptor, at rates faster than Desulfobulbus propionicus, the only other organism in pure culture previously shown to oxidize S° with current production. The abundance of Desulfuromonas species enriched on the anodes of marine benthic fuel cells has previously been interpreted as acetate oxidation driving current production, but the results presented here suggest that sulfur-driven current production is a likely alternative.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology
Volume160
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)123-129
ISSN1350-0872
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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