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Extracellular electron transfer mechanisms between microorganisms and minerals

Extracellular electron transfer mechanisms between microorganisms and minerals Specific microorganisms use metal-containing minerals as electron sinks for heterotrophy-based respiration and electron and/or energy sources for autotrophic growth. The microbial cell envelope is an electrical and physical barrier that can be overcome by pathways that consist of redox proteins (for example, c-type cytochromes) and structural proteins, which span the entire width of the microbial cell envelope and enable the exchange of electrons with extracellular minerals. Some microorganisms can extend their redox-active surface beyond the confines of the cell envelope by forming microbial nanowires, which transfer electrons to distal minerals. c-Type cytochromes, microbial nanowires and other cellular structures are, or are suggested to be, involved in intercellular electron transfer between the same or different species or even domains. Minerals that contain metal ions can also function as electrical conductors and batteries to facilitate electron exchange among different groups of microorganisms. Microorganisms with extracellular electron transfer capabilities have been harnessed for the bioremediation of environmental contaminants, the production of biofuels, the production of nanomaterials with novel properties and biomining of copper, gold and other metals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Reviews Microbiology Springer Journals

Extracellular electron transfer mechanisms between microorganisms and minerals

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References (170)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Subject
Life Sciences; Life Sciences, general; Microbiology; Medical Microbiology; Parasitology; Infectious Diseases; Virology
ISSN
1740-1526
eISSN
1740-1534
DOI
10.1038/nrmicro.2016.93
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Specific microorganisms use metal-containing minerals as electron sinks for heterotrophy-based respiration and electron and/or energy sources for autotrophic growth. The microbial cell envelope is an electrical and physical barrier that can be overcome by pathways that consist of redox proteins (for example, c-type cytochromes) and structural proteins, which span the entire width of the microbial cell envelope and enable the exchange of electrons with extracellular minerals. Some microorganisms can extend their redox-active surface beyond the confines of the cell envelope by forming microbial nanowires, which transfer electrons to distal minerals. c-Type cytochromes, microbial nanowires and other cellular structures are, or are suggested to be, involved in intercellular electron transfer between the same or different species or even domains. Minerals that contain metal ions can also function as electrical conductors and batteries to facilitate electron exchange among different groups of microorganisms. Microorganisms with extracellular electron transfer capabilities have been harnessed for the bioremediation of environmental contaminants, the production of biofuels, the production of nanomaterials with novel properties and biomining of copper, gold and other metals.

Journal

Nature Reviews MicrobiologySpringer Journals

Published: Aug 30, 2016

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