Identifying target processes for microbial electrosynthesis by elementary mode analysis

Kracke, Frauke and Kromer, Jens O. (2014) Identifying target processes for microbial electrosynthesis by elementary mode analysis. Bmc Bioinformatics, 15 410: 1-14. doi:10.1186/s12859-014-0410-2

Author Kracke, Frauke
Kromer, Jens O.
Title Identifying target processes for microbial electrosynthesis by elementary mode analysis
Journal name Bmc Bioinformatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2105
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12859-014-0410-2
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 15
Issue 410
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Microbial electrosynthesis and electro fermentation are techniques that aim to optimize microbial production of chemicals and fuels by regulating the cellular redox balance via interaction with electrodes. While the concept is known for decades major knowledge gaps remain, which make it hard to evaluate its biotechnological potential. Here we present an in silico approach to identify beneficial production processes for electro fermentation by elementary mode analysis. Since the fundamentals of electron transport between electrodes and microbes have not been fully uncovered yet, we propose different options and discuss their impact on biomass and product yields.

For the first time 20 different valuable products were screened for their potential to show increased yields during anaerobic electrically enhanced fermentation. Surprisingly we found that an increase in product formation by electrical enhancement is not necessarily dependent on the degree of reduction of the product but rather the metabolic pathway it is derived from. We present a variety of beneficial processes with product yield increases of maximal 36% in reductive and 84% in oxidative fermentations and final theoretical product yields up to 100%. This includes compounds that are already produced at industrial scale such as succinic acid, lysine and diaminopentane as well as potential novel bio-commodities such as isoprene, para-hydroxybenzoic acid and para-aminobenzoic acid. Furthermore, it is shown that the way of electron transport has major impact on achievable biomass and product yields. The coupling of electron transport to energy conservation could be identified as crucial for most processes.

This study introduces a powerful tool to determine beneficial substrate and product combinations for electro-fermentation. It also highlights that the maximal yield achievable by bio electrochemical techniques depends strongly on the actual electron transport mechanisms. Therefore it is of great importance to reveal the involved fundamental processes to be able to optimize and advance electro fermentations beyond the level of lab-scale studies.
Keyword Cathode
Electro synthesis
Bio production
Extracellular electron transport
Electro fermentation
Anaerobic fermentation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
Official 2015 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 23 Mar 2015, 11:08:49 EST by Frauke Kracke on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering