MWAC Recognition for research of significance: August 2016

Posted 4 August 2016

Facilities: Electron Microscope Unit, Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility, Solid State & Elemental Analysis Unit, Biomedical Imaging Facility, Biological Resources Imaging Laboratory, Spectroscopy Laboratory, Transgenic Animal Unit, Stats Central

The Outreach group POM committee is pleased to announce the ‘Paper of the Month’ for August 2016 is a study contributed to by Mohan Bhadbhade and Chris Marjo from SSEU, in conjunction with:

Sabrina Beckmann,*a   Cornelia Welte,b   Xiaomin Li,a   Yee M. Oo,a   Lena Kroeninger,b   Yooun Heo,c   Miaomiao Zhang,a   Daniela Ribeiro,a   Matthew Lee,a   Mohan Bhadbhade,d   Christopher E. Marjo,d   Jan Seidel,c   Uwe Deppenmeierb and   Mike Manefield*ae  

Novel phenazine crystals enable direct electron transfer to methanogens in anaerobic digestion by redox potential modulation.

Published in:  Energy & Environmental Science. 2016, 9, 644-655

(impact factor >25)

The research is highly significant on a global scale. With one billion tons of methane produced annually by microorganisms, biogas production can be appreciated both for its role in global organic matter turnover and as an energy source for humankind. The importance of electron transfer from electrically conductive surfaces or from bacteria to methanogenic Archaea has been implicated in widespread commercial anaerobic digestion processes, though a mechanism for reception of electrons from conductive surfaces or pili by methanogens has never been demonstrated. Here we describe a novel crystalline form of the synthetic phenazine neutral red that harvests electrons from reduced inorganic and organic microbial sources in anaerobic environments and makes them available to methanogenic Archaea.

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Formation of neutral red crystals (red) nucleating from biomass (yellow-green).