Electromicrobiology: the ecophysiology of phylogenetically diverse electroactive microorganisms.

TitleElectromicrobiology: the ecophysiology of phylogenetically diverse electroactive microorganisms.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsLovley DR, Holmes DE
JournalNat Rev Microbiol
Date Published2022 Jan
KeywordsArchaea, Bacteria, Bacterial Physiological Phenomena, Cytochromes, Electron Transport, Oxidation-Reduction, Phylogeny

Electroactive microorganisms markedly affect many environments in which they establish outer-surface electrical contacts with other cells and minerals or reduce soluble extracellular redox-active molecules such as flavins and humic substances. A growing body of research emphasizes their broad phylogenetic diversity and shows that these microorganisms have key roles in multiple biogeochemical cycles, as well as the microbiome of the gut, anaerobic waste digesters and metal corrosion. Diverse bacteria and archaea have independently evolved cytochrome-based strategies for electron exchange between the outer cell surface and the cell interior, but cytochrome-free mechanisms are also prevalent. Electrically conductive protein filaments, soluble electron shuttles and non-biological conductive materials can substantially extend the electronic reach of microorganisms beyond the surface of the cell. The growing appreciation of the diversity of electroactive microorganisms and their unique electronic capabilities is leading to a broad range of applications.

Alternate JournalNat Rev Microbiol
PubMed ID34316046
PubMed Central ID202682