Centimeter-long electron transport in marine sediments via conductive minerals

Malvankar, N. S. and King, G. M. and Lovley, D. R.. (2015) Centimeter-long electron transport in marine sediments via conductive minerals. Isme Journal, 9 (2). pp. 527-531.

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Centimeter-long electron conduction through marine sediments, in which electrons derived from sulfide in anoxic sediments are transported to oxygen in surficial sediments, may have an important influence on sediment geochemistry. Filamentous bacteria have been proposed to mediate the electron transport, but the filament conductivity could not be verified and other mechanisms are possible. Surprisingly, previous investigations have never actually measured the sediment conductivity or its basic physical properties. Here we report direct measurements that demonstrate centimeter-long electron flow through marine sediments, with conductivities sufficient to account for previously estimated electron fluxes. Conductivity was lost for oxidized sediments, which contrasts with the previously described increase in the conductivity of microbial biofilms upon oxidation. Adding pyrite to the sediments significantly enhanced the conductivity. These results suggest that the role of conductive minerals, which are more commonly found in sediments than centimeter-long microbial filaments, need to be considered when modeling marine sediment biogeochemistry.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ISI Document Delivery No.: AZ4SQTimes Cited: 0Cited Reference Count: 20Malvankar, Nikhil S. King, Gary M. Lovley, Derek R.Office of Naval Research N00014-12-1-0229, N00014-13-1-0550; Office of Science (BER); US Department of Energy DE-SC0006790; NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing CMMI-1025020; Burroughs Wellcome FundWe thank Prof. Kelly Nevin and Prof. Mark Tuominen for helpful discussions and experimental assistance. This research was supported by the Office of Naval Research (grant no. N00014-12-1-0229 and N00014-13-1-0550), the Office of Science (BER), US Department of Energy (award no. DE-SC0006790) as well as the NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (grant no. CMMI-1025020). Nikhil S. Malvankar holds a Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.Nature publishing groupLondon
Uncontrolled Keywords: biofilm
Collections: Nanomanufacturing Research Collection > Nanomanufacturing Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers > Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing
Depositing User: Robert Stevens
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 18:38
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2015 18:38
URI: http://eprints.internano.org/id/eprint/2329

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