Filamentous bacteria transport electrons over centimetre distances

Condensed Matter journal club

Filamentous bacteria transport electrons over centimetre distances

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 11th January 2013
  • Speaker: Timothy Bush (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Abstract

Oxygen consumption in marine sediments is often coupled to the oxidation of sulphide generated by degradation of organic matter in deeper, oxygen-free layers. Geochemical observations have shown that this coupling can be mediated by electric currents carried by unidentified electron transporters across centimetre-wide zones. Here we present evidence that the native conductors are long, filamentous bacteria. They abounded in sediment zones with electric currents and along their length they contained strings with distinct properties in accordance with a function as electron transporters. Living, electrical cables add a new dimension to the understanding of interactions in nature and may find use in technology development.
Nature 491 pages 218-221 (2012)
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Authors

Christian Pfeffer, Steffen Larsen, Jie Song, Mingdong Dong, Flemming Besenbacher, Rikke Louise Meyer, Kasper Urup Kjeldsen, Lars Schreiber, Yuri A. Gorby, Mohamed Y. El-Naggar, Kar Man Leung, Andreas Schramm, Nils Risgaard-Petersen & Lars Peter Nielsen