Simultaneous Analysis of Physiological and Electrical Output Changes in an Operating Microbial Fuel Cell With Shewanella oneidensis

Simultaneous Analysis of Physiological and Electrical Output Changes in an Operating Microbial Fuel Cell With Shewanella oneidensis

Simultaneous Analysis of Physiological and Electrical Output Changes in an Operating Microbial Fuel Cell With Shewanella oneidensis

Abstract

Changes in metabolism and cellular physiology of facultative anaerobes during oxygen exposure can be substantial, but little is known about how these changes connect with electrical current output from an operating microbial fuel cell (MFC). A high-throughput voltage based screening assay (VBSA) was used to correlate current output from a MFC containing Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 to carbon source (glucose or lactate) utilization, culture conditions, and biofilm coverage over 250 h. Lactate induced an immediate current response from S. oneidensis MR-1, with both air-exposed and anaerobic anodes throughout the duration of the experiments. Glucose was initially utilized for current output by MR-1 when cultured and maintained in the presence of air. However, after repeated additions of glucose, the current output from the MFC decreased substantially while viable planktonic cell counts and biofilm coverage remained constant suggesting that extracellular electron transfer pathways were being inhibited.Shewanella maintained under an anaerobic atmosphere did not utilize glucose consistent with literature precedents. Operation of the VBSA permitted data collection from nine simultaneous S. oneidensis MR-1 MFC experiments in which each experiment was able to demonstrate organic carbon source utilization and oxygen dependent biofilm formation on a carbon electrode. These data provide the first direct evidence of complex cellular responses to electron donor and oxygen tension by Shewanella in an operating MFC at select time points.

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