Ishii, S., Hotta, Y., Watanabe, K.
Methanogenesis Versus Electrogenesis: Morphological and Phylogenetic Comparisons of Microbial Communities
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Feb 01; 72(2): 286-94.
Two H-type microbial fuel cells were prepared. The anaerobic chambers were inoculated with rice paddy field soil and fed cellulose as an energy source. In one reactor, the anode and cathode were connected with a wire (closed circuit, CC), while they were not connected in the other reactor (open circuit, OC). The OC reactor actively produced methane. In the CC reactor, however, an electric current of 0.2 to 0.3 mA was constantly generated, and methane production was almost completely suppressed. Electron microscopy revealed that rod-shaped cells with long prosthecae-like filaments were specifically enriched in the CC reactor. Comparisons of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed entirely different phylogenetic compositions in the CC and OC communities; phylotypes related to Rhizobiceae, Desulfovibrio, and Ethanoligenens were specifically enriched in the CC community. The results indicate that electrogenesis resulted in the enrichment of distinctive microbial populations and suppressed methanogenesis from cellulose.
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