Order-of-magnitude enhancement in photocurrent generation of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by outer membrane deprivation
Shoko Kusama, Seiji Kojima, Ken Kimura, Ginga Shimakawa, Chikahiro Miyake, Kenya Tanaka, Yasuaki Okumura & Shuji Nakanishi
Biophotovoltaics (BPV) generates electricity from reducing equivalent(s) produced by photosynthetic organisms by exploiting a phenomenon called extracellular electron transfer (EET), where reducing equivalent(s) is transferred to external electron acceptors. Although cyanobacteria have been extensively studied for BPV because of their high photosynthetic activity and ease of handling, their low EET activity poses a limitation. Here, we show an order-of-magnitude enhancement in photocurrent generation of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by deprivation of the outer membrane, where electrons are suggested to stem from pathway(s) downstream of photosystem I. A marked enhancement of EET activity itself is verified by rapid reduction of exogenous electron acceptor, ferricyanide. The extracellular organic substances, including reducing equivalent(s), produced by this cyanobacterium serve as respiratory substrates for other heterotrophic bacteria. These findings demonstrate that the outer membrane is a barrier that limits EET. Therefore, depriving this membrane is an effective approach to exploit the cyanobacterial reducing equivalent(s).
biophotovoltaics, BPV, EET