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Electrically conductive bacterial nanowires produced by Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1 and other microorganisms.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins, Bacterial Proteins, genetics, Cytochrome c Group, Electric Conductivity, Electrons, Ferric Compounds, chemistry, metabolism, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Microscopy, Electron, Transmission, Mutagenesis, Mutation, Nanotechnology, Shewanella, ultrastructure, Synechocystis

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      Abstract

      Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 produced electrically conductive pilus-like appendages called bacterial nanowires in direct response to electron-acceptor limitation. Mutants deficient in genes for c-type decaheme cytochromes MtrC and OmcA, and those that lacked a functional Type II secretion pathway displayed nanowires that were poorly conductive. These mutants were also deficient in their ability to reduce hydrous ferric oxide and in their ability to generate current in a microbial fuel cell. Nanowires produced by the oxygenic phototrophic cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803 and the thermophilic, fermentative bacterium Pelotomaculum thermopropionicum reveal that electrically conductive appendages are not exclusive to dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria and may, in fact, represent a common bacterial strategy for efficient electron transfer and energy distribution.

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      Ferrozine---a new spectrophotometric reagent for iron

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        Extracellular electron transfer via microbial nanowires.

        Microbes that can transfer electrons to extracellular electron acceptors, such as Fe(iii) oxides, are important in organic matter degradation and nutrient cycling in soils and sediments. Previous investigations on electron transfer to Fe(iii) have focused on the role of outer-membrane c-type cytochromes. However, some Fe(iii) reducers lack c-cytochromes. Geobacter species, which are the predominant Fe(iii) reducers in many environments, must directly contact Fe(iii) oxides to reduce them, and produce monolateral pili that were proposed, on the basis of the role of pili in other organisms, to aid in establishing contact with the Fe(iii) oxides. Here we report that a pilus-deficient mutant of Geobacter sulfurreducens could not reduce Fe(iii) oxides but could attach to them. Conducting-probe atomic force microscopy revealed that the pili were highly conductive. These results indicate that the pili of G. sulfurreducens might serve as biological nanowires, transferring electrons from the cell surface to the surface of Fe(iii) oxides. Electron transfer through pili indicates possibilities for other unique cell-surface and cell-cell interactions, and for bioengineering of novel conductive materials.
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          Site-directed mutagenesis by overlap extension using the polymerase chain reaction

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            16849424
            10.1073/pnas.0604517103
            1544091

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