Hundreds of electricity-generating bacteria found, including pathogenic, probiotic and fermenting bacteria

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According to (This article and its images were originally posted on Phys.org September 12, 2018 at 01:03PM.)

(Cover Image)

Listeria bacteria transport electrons through their cell wall into the environment as tiny currents, assisted by ubiquitous flavin molecules (yellow dots). Credit: Amy Cao. Copyright UC Berkeley.

While bacteria that produce electricity have been found in exotic environments like mines and the bottoms of lakes, scientists have missed a source closer to home: the human gut.

University of California, Berkeley, scientists discovered that a common diarrhea-causing bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, produces electricity using an entirely different technique from known electrogenic bacteria, and that hundreds of other bactrial species use this same process.

Many of these sparking bacteria are part of the microbiome, and many, like the bug that causes the food-borne illness listeriosis, which can also cause miscarriages, are pathogenic. The bacteria that cause gangrene (Clostridium perfringens) and hospital-acquired infections (Enterococcus faecalis) and some disease-causing streptococcus bacteria also produce electricity. Other electrogenic bacteria, like Lactobacilli, are important in fermenting yogurt, and many are probiotics.

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This article and its images were originally posted on [Phys.org] September 12, 2018 at 01:03PM. All credit to both the author and Phys.org | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day.

 

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