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      A Novel Shewanella Isolate Enhances Corrosion by Using Metallic Iron as the Electron Donor with Fumarate as the Electron Acceptor

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          ABSTRACT

          The involvement of Shewanella spp. in biocorrosion is often attributed to their Fe(III)-reducing properties, but they could also affect corrosion by using metallic iron as an electron donor. Previously, we isolated Shewanella strain 4t3-1-2LB from an acetogenic community enriched with Fe(0) as the sole electron donor. Here, we investigated its use of Fe(0) as an electron donor with fumarate as an electron acceptor and explored its corrosion-enhancing mechanism. Without Fe(0), strain 4t3-1-2LB fermented fumarate to succinate and CO 2, as was shown by the reaction stoichiometry and pH. With Fe(0), strain 4t3-1-2LB completely reduced fumarate to succinate and increased the Fe(0) corrosion rate (7.0 ± 0.6)-fold in comparison to that of abiotic controls (based on the succinate-versus-abiotic hydrogen formation rate). Fumarate reduction by strain 4t3-1-2LB was, at least in part, supported by chemical hydrogen formation on Fe(0). Filter-sterilized spent medium increased the hydrogen generation rate only 1.5-fold, and thus extracellular hydrogenase enzymes appear to be insufficient to explain the enhanced corrosion rate. Electrochemical measurements suggested that strain 4t3-1-2LB did not excrete dissolved redox mediators. Exchanging the medium and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging indicated that cells were attached to Fe(0). It is possible that strain 4t3-1-2LB used a direct mechanism to withdraw electrons from Fe(0) or favored chemical hydrogen formation on Fe(0) through maintaining low hydrogen concentrations. In coculture with an Acetobacterium strain, strain 4t3-1-2LB did not enhance acetogenesis from Fe(0). This work describes a strong corrosion enhancement by a Shewanella strain through its use of Fe(0) as an electron donor and provides insights into its corrosion-enhancing mechanism.

          IMPORTANCE Shewanella spp. are frequently found on corroded metal structures. Their role in microbial influenced corrosion has been attributed mainly to their Fe(III)-reducing properties and, therefore, has been studied with the addition of an electron donor (lactate). Shewanella spp., however, can also use solid electron donors, such as cathodes and potentially Fe(0). In this work, we show that the electron acceptor fumarate supported the use of Fe(0) as the electron donor by Shewanella strain 4t3-1-2LB, which caused a (7.0 ± 0.6)-fold increase of the corrosion rate. The corrosion-enhancing mechanism likely involved cell surface-associated components in direct contact with the Fe(0) surface or maintenance of low hydrogen levels by attached cells, thereby favoring chemical hydrogen formation by Fe(0). This work sheds new light on the role of Shewanella spp. in biocorrosion, while the insights into the corrosion-enhancing mechanism contribute to the understanding of extracellular electron uptake processes.

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          Shewanella secretes flavins that mediate extracellular electron transfer.

          Bacteria able to transfer electrons to metals are key agents in biogeochemical metal cycling, subsurface bioremediation, and corrosion processes. More recently, these bacteria have gained attention as the transfer of electrons from the cell surface to conductive materials can be used in multiple applications. In this work, we adapted electrochemical techniques to probe intact biofilms of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and Shewanella sp. MR-4 grown by using a poised electrode as an electron acceptor. This approach detected redox-active molecules within biofilms, which were involved in electron transfer to the electrode. A combination of methods identified a mixture of riboflavin and riboflavin-5'-phosphate in supernatants from biofilm reactors, with riboflavin representing the dominant component during sustained incubations (>72 h). Removal of riboflavin from biofilms reduced the rate of electron transfer to electrodes by >70%, consistent with a role as a soluble redox shuttle carrying electrons from the cell surface to external acceptors. Differential pulse voltammetry and cyclic voltammetry revealed a layer of flavins adsorbed to electrodes, even after soluble components were removed, especially in older biofilms. Riboflavin adsorbed quickly to other surfaces of geochemical interest, such as Fe(III) and Mn(IV) oxy(hydr)oxides. This in situ demonstration of flavin production, and sequestration at surfaces, requires the paradigm of soluble redox shuttles in geochemistry to be adjusted to include binding and modification of surfaces. Moreover, the known ability of isoalloxazine rings to act as metal chelators, along with their electron shuttling capacity, suggests that extracellular respiration of minerals by Shewanella is more complex than originally conceived.
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            Towards environmental systems biology of Shewanella.

            Bacteria of the genus Shewanella are known for their versatile electron-accepting capacities, which allow them to couple the decomposition of organic matter to the reduction of the various terminal electron acceptors that they encounter in their stratified environments. Owing to their diverse metabolic capabilities, shewanellae are important for carbon cycling and have considerable potential for the remediation of contaminated environments and use in microbial fuel cells. Systems-level analysis of the model species Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and other members of this genus has provided new insights into the signal-transduction proteins, regulators, and metabolic and respiratory subsystems that govern the remarkable versatility of the shewanellae.
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              Microbial electrosynthesis - revisiting the electrical route for microbial production.

              Microbial electrocatalysis relies on microorganisms as catalysts for reactions occurring at electrodes. Microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells are well known in this context; both use microorganisms to oxidize organic or inorganic matter at an anode to generate electrical power or H(2), respectively. The discovery that electrical current can also drive microbial metabolism has recently lead to a plethora of other applications in bioremediation and in the production of fuels and chemicals. Notably, the microbial production of chemicals, called microbial electrosynthesis, provides a highly attractive, novel route for the generation of valuable products from electricity or even wastewater. This Review addresses the principles, challenges and opportunities of microbial electrosynthesis, an exciting new discipline at the nexus of microbiology and electrochemistry.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Applied and Environmental Microbiology
                Appl Environ Microbiol
                American Society for Microbiology
                0099-2240
                1098-5336
                October 15 2018
                October 01 2018
                July 27 2018
                : 84
                : 20
                Article
                10.1128/AEM.01154-18
                © 2018
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