DIET-like mutualism of Geobacter and methanogens at specific electrode potential boosts production of both methane and hydrogen from propionate

Yuqing Yan, Jiayao Zhang, Lili Tian, Xuejun Yan, Lin Du, Aaron Leininger, Mou Zhang, Nan Li, Zhiyong Jason Ren, Xin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) has been demonstrated to be an efficient type of mutualism in methanogenesis. However, few studies have reported its presence in mixed microbial communities and its trigger mechanism in the natural environment and engineered systems. Here, we reported DIET-like mutualism of Geobacter and methanogens in the planktonic microbiome for the first time in anaerobic electrochemical digestion (AED) fed with propionate, potentially triggered by excessive cathodic hydrogen (56 times higher than the lowest) under the electrochemical condition. In contrast with model prediction without DIET, the highest current density and hydrogen and methane production were concurrently observed at −0.2 V where an abundance of Geobacter (49%) and extracellular electron transfer genes were identified in the planktonic microbiome via metagenomic analysis. Metagenomic assembly genomes annotated to Geobacter anodireducens were identified alongside two methanogens, Methanothrix harundinacea and Methanosarcina mazei, which were previously identified to participate in DIET. This discovery revealed that DIET-like mutualism could be triggered without external conductive materials, highlighting its potentially ubiquitous presence. Such mutualism simultaneously boosted methane and hydrogen production, thereby demonstrating the potential of AED in engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119911
JournalWater Research
Volume235
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Direct interspecies electron transfer
  • Geobacter anodireducens
  • Methanogenesis
  • Mutualism

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