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Comparative proteomics implicates a role for multiple secretion systems in electrode-respiring Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms

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Paul Kavanagh, Catherine H. Botting, Partha S. Jana, Dónal Leech, Florence Abram

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Geobacter sulfurreducens is a dissimilatory metal-reducing bacterium capable of forming thick electron-conducting biofilms on solid electrodes. Here, we employ for the first time comparative proteomics to identify key physiological changes involved in G. sulfurreducens adaptation from fumarate-respiring planktonic cells to electron-conducting biofilms. Increased levels of proteins involved in outer membrane biogenesis, cell motility and secretion are expressed in biofilms. Of particular importance to the electron-conducting biofilms are proteins associated with secretion systems of Type I, II, V and Type IV pili. Furthermore, enzymes involved in lipopolysaccharide and peptidoglycan biosynthesis show increased levels of expression in electron-conducting biofilms compared to planktonic cells. These observations point to similarities in long-range electron transfer mechanisms between G. sulfurreducens and Shewanella oneidensis, while highlighting the wider significance of secretion systems beyond that of Type IV pili identified to date in the adaptation of G. sulfurreducens to electrode respiration.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4135-4145
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number12
Early online date10 Oct 2016
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2016

    Research areas

  • Geobacter sulfurreducens, Electrode biofilm, Proteomics, Electron transfer, Secretion systems

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